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Basketball/Elan Béarnais. “We will pay if we have the support of partners”, assures David Otto

(Laughs) I thought I’d meet a lot more people interested in what we’re doing, or trying to do, rather than debt issues. There have been positives and negatives this season and the debt is only the negative side. I was a little surprised at how little interest there was in our vision because I think it’s the most interesting for the club and for the whole league.

Have you been confronted with a cultural difference in the sense that, in the United States, basketball is characterized by the…

(Laughs) I thought I’d meet a lot more people interested in what we’re doing, or trying to do, rather than debt issues. There have been positives and negatives this season and the debt is only the negative side. I was a little surprised at how little interest there was in our vision because I think it’s the most interesting for the club and for the whole league.

Have you been confronted with a cultural difference in the sense that, in the United States, basketball is characterized by the spectacle and business side, whereas in Europe the logic is above all sporting. Did you understand it?

Think basketball can’t be a show here? In the United States, it’s part show, part business and part competition. What makes the success, here as in the USA, is the interest shown by the fans, the sports performances. Our project is the opportunity to develop all of this.

You took control of the club with a positive cash flow of €1.2 million. Ten months later, the deficit created is enormous. Are you ready to take on your responsibilities?

Is it the responsibility of the club owner? Sure. Let’s get this straight: the €1.2 million you mention was used to run the club, to pay the salaries of administrative staff, players, and current expenses. They were not wasted.

You still talked a lot about the tokenization of the club in front of the partners and shareholders. As with the climate, there are more cryptobelievers and cryptoskeptics. Do you have the impression of having lost the game on this theme which is at the center of your project?

No way ! I don’t know who gave you this information.

The shareholders do not seem ready to follow you in any case…

There is a difference between believing and understanding. If you don’t understand, you can’t believe, it’s a natural reaction. We are still at the stage where we have to explain, educate part of the community. Among the minority shareholders, some have understood this and support this approach, even among the oldest. They have read the documentation, they are committed to this process. But the majority, apart from maybe three people who were there on Saturday, don’t understand what it’s all about and maybe we haven’t explained enough.

The LNB wants us to replenish the capital, which represents approximately €1.1 million.

How did the last discussions with the DNCCG (National Council and Management Control Department) go?

The LNB wants us to replenish the capital, which represents approximately €1.1 million.

You asked the shareholders to take their share and they refused…

No, I didn’t ask anything. What I said was, “Now what do you want to do? “. What I expect are partners. CSG won’t do the job alone. Whether they come from minority shareholders or elsewhere, it doesn’t matter, what I want is for them to understand and participate in our project. That wouldn’t solve everything, but it would solve part of the problem.

How much did you expect from minority shareholders?

I will be surprised if they put a single penny. But I’ve been there for five days and I’ve met a lot of people, people who are interested. I will still meet other people this weekend in France.

The recommendations of the DNCCG will be known on Thursday. Do you think you can avoid a penalty?

We are working on a response to them.

At the DNCCG, it is lawyers who sit and base their decisions on solid commitments, not on projections…

I think they need to understand what we want to put in place at Elan.

In the end, who will pay? CSG?

If the question is whether we can, yes. Will we want it? We will see…

That’s to say ?

We don’t rely on anyone but ourselves to reset the accounts, we don’t need checks to be written to us. On the other hand, we need to know that the community and partners support and accompany us. We need sponsors who bring 10,000 euros, 20,000 euros, 50,000 euros, who want to put their mark on the shirt, on the walls of the Palace. If we don’t have the guarantee of their commitment, why wouldn’t we? Think for a moment: why am I, from Seattle, continuing to spend money on a business in Pau when no one here wants to join me?

Will you release the deposit that was deposited in an American bank in July 2021, when you arrived at Elan?

I’m not sure I understand. We have already kept our commitments during the season by injecting around €1 million into the club.

Is the club in default as we speak?

I would have to look at the state of our accounts. I don’t think we’re in default, but I’m not sure.

And if the LNB pronounced Thursday the administrative relegation of the club, what would you do?

I would first like to know the reasons. In my opinion, that would make no sense. I discovered this process with the LNB so I do not know on what elements it could base such a decision. And what she asked us to do, we will do.

I’m not sure if I give up, it’s not my intention

If that happens, will you stay or leave Elan?

I’m not sure to give up, it’s not my intention. I don’t know what that would represent in terms of the loss of value of the company, if people will still be interested in the product, if the business will be able to survive it and progress. My intuition is to say that yes, it will remain possible. Can the LNB make this decision? I hope not.

But it could happen, actually.

Sure. But I do not know the reasons which would authorize him to pronounce a relegation.

What do you say to people who think Elan’s death is near?

The death ? No that’s not true.

Can you guarantee it?

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