It is a monument of alpine football which is (almost) bowing out. At 75, Alain Fessler has decided to leave the presidency of the GF38 Association, which manages the amateur sector of the Grenoble club (Ligue 2). And to succeed him, he dubbed Ladjel Guebbabi (42), another lawyer by profession. The 23 members of the Board of Directors ratified this choice by their unanimous vote.
“Today, at 75 and after having given a lot of energy to the club, I admit to feeling a certain weariness and no longer being able to give as much,” declared Alain Fessler on the Grenoble club’s website. “For me, the appointment of Ladjel is an excellent idea. For the record, I had him for seven years as an associate in my firm, so I know his human qualities. In addition to loving football, he shares, federates and seeks to be in consensus. »
A key role in structuring the Grenoble football landscape
Former player of FC Grenoble (1966-1971), Alain Fessler joined the board of directors of the Grenoble club in 1990, then directed by Georges Perli, before becoming president in 1999, when he had just taken the name of GF38 (after a merger in 1997 between OGI and Norcap, the two main clubs in the city). His mandate will have stretched over 23 years; a period that will have made him a known and respected figure in Dauphiné football, and well beyond.
As president of the GF38 Association, Alain Fessler notably had to manage the painful period 2011-2012, with the filing for bankruptcy of the SASP managed by the Japanese from Index Corporation, then the revival of the club in CFA2. With a rise after a year in CFA (fourth French level) thanks to a team coached by Olivier Saragaglia, with players like Brice Maubleu, Manuel Perez or Florian Michel (current players of the professional team in Ligue 2).
“It is an honor and a chance for me to succeed Alain Fessler, whose legacy and historical imprint it is impossible to describe in a few lines on the club and on Grenoble football in the broader sense. », greets Ladjel Guebbabi.
Ultimately, he will be honorary president
The new president wanted Alain Fessler to accompany him in the transition, while remaining a member of the board of directors. “I (welcome) Alain Fessler’s decision to support us in order to ensure continuity. With, eventually, his appointment as Honorary President. »
The septuagenarian passionate about football does not therefore completely leave the football scene. But with his departure from the presidency, a sacred page of history is turned. He who rubbed shoulders with several generations of leaders, citing “my friend and late Robert Calvi, Franck Germinario, Farid Derbal, Roger Garcin, Gérard Remillat, Marcelle Scaringella, Nicole Villeroux,…”