“Sochaux, it’s us, Sochaux will live! » Last summer, this cry from the heart brought together lovers of FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, or FCSM, when the historic Franche-Comté football club found itself on the verge of bankruptcy due to the haphazard management of its owner, a Chinese real estate group.
In a few days, two former managers, who came to the rescue, raised several million euros from around forty local entrepreneurs and local authorities. But also with the supporters who played a decisive role in the almost miraculous rescue of the professional team. Indeed, far from the negative image attached to the “ultras”, Sochaux fans showed a great sense of responsibility. Dignified despite the sadness and anger, they refused to see their passion die in indifference: in two months, nearly 800,000 euros were contributed to the capital by more than 11,000 contributors. Orchestrated by the Sociochaux association, this fundraising, exceptional in its scale, allows supporters to now be represented on the board of directors.
These last weeks, Pilgrim met “Lion Cubs” fans. Men and women happy to be able to continue to encourage their team even if it plays in National, the third division. Because “Sochaux is more than football”: the club, almost a hundred years old, has become the standard of an industrial territory proud of its history and its popular values. So, “we will always be here because we are crazy about you”, sings the Bonal stadium.