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Nice supporters launch campaign urging fans not to buy season tickets

10 months ago
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In an escalation of their protests against the owners of their club, Nice supporters have announced a boycott of season tickets.

The fans of the French club are desperate to get rid of the current ownership headed up by Chien Lee.

Hopes were raised recently (see below) when Jim Ratcliff confirmed he was trying to buy the club.

The billionaire is Britain’s richest man and has been trying to buy a Premier League club, with Chelsea one of his reported targets.

However, after initially indicating a willingness to sell, the current owners suddenly made an about turn, infuriating the Nice fans.

Now the largest fan group at Nice, the ‘Populaire Sud’, have released a statement urging all fans not to buy season tickets to try and force the owners to sell the club.

The past two seasons Nice have averaged over 22,000 attendances at home games but recent matches have seen gates drop as low as 16,000 as supporters vote with their feet and money.

Newcastle United fans will watch on with interest.

The rallying cry has been ‘If Rafa goes we go’ and with Mike Ashley not showing any hurry in meeting Rafaa Benitez’ conditions to stay on, that (If Rafa Goes we go) pledge could well be tested in the very near future.

Get French Football News report:

‘Breaking:

‘OGC Nice’s largest supporters group Populaire Sud releases statement encouraging all fans to boycott season ticket purchases for next season in protest against Chinese-American ownership.’

Bloomberg report 5 April 2019:

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group Holdings Plc said it’s in talks to invest in OGC Nice, the French Ligue 1 soccer club.

France’s Olympique Gymnaste Club Nice Côte d’Azur, owned by an investor group led by NewCity Capital Chief Executive Officer Chien Lee, would join the chemical firm’s investments in Switzerland’s Lausanne soccer club and its recent purchase of the U.K.’s Team Sky cycling group, which will become Team Ineos in May.

“Ineos confirms that it has expressed an interest in the club and has had exploratory discussions, but can say nothing more at this stage,” a spokesman for the company said in an email on Friday.

Lee initially showed interest in a sale but is no longer receptive, Ratcliffe told newspaper Nice-Matin, according to a summary of that report Friday from Agence France-Press.

Nice is in eighth place in France’s top division, still within range of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League next season. The team is managed by Patrick Vieira, a former player for England’s Arsenal and the French national football team.

Its stadium, Allianz Riviera, has capacity to host more than 36,000 fans for soccer matches and 44,000 for music concerts.

Lee became a co-owner of Nice in 2016. In 2017, he became co-chairman and co-owner of Barnsley F.C., an English soccer club.

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