When he receives us in his office, Karim Bouamrane wears a mask in the colors of the Red Star. The new mayor of Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis) is a “child of the club” and is actively working to help him regain his place at the top of French football. This Friday morning, he will be present at the Bauer stadium to formalize the relaunch of the renovation project of the historic city walls. He reveals to us that the real estate group Réalités (winner of the competition for the Métropole du Grand Paris) has been (re) commissioned but that it will no longer be a reconstruction but a renovation.
Your predecessor William Delannoy had ruled out the Réalités project in favor of Wilmotte’s, who came second. Did the legal action launched by the winner prompt you to review the case?
KARIM BOUAMRANE. Not at all. There is a rule, and Réalités had won the competition, it was normal that he picked up the file. As the new mayor and vice-president of the Metropolis, I found that the decision was unfair and it had to be remedied. We are in a logic of work, in a peaceful way. Obviously, the counterpart was that Realities stopped its legal proceedings.
You will be consulting the public on the subject when the timetable is already tight. Isn’t that an additional risk?
Yes, the schedule is very tight but the consultation will open on November 4 via a city platform and end on November 26. After that, we have been actively working since July with the club and Réalités. Everything will go quickly. The stadium will be renovated before 2024.
What kind of stadium do you want?
I want a stadium with a human face, with less than 12,000 seats, which complements the Stade de France. That it be green and be part of the city of 2030. In Saint-Ouen, the DGSI (General Directorate of Internal Security) arrives ( Editor’s note: on the former Parisian site – Today-in-France ), the Olympic Games too, the Grand Hospital also and 4 million people visit the Flea Market each year. Taking all this into account, how do I get the team to play in Ligue 1 before my term ends? How to have a healthy economic model, up to the club of our city and our territory, not a Halley’s comet (sic) ? And how to make a stadium accessible? These are real questions. This stadium should be a place of life, open 18 hours a day.
Where will the team, currently 8th in the National (3rd Division) l, play during the renovation?
When you go into exile, you think you are saving time and you lose time. By wanting to go too fast, we have already almost lost everything. Sporting time is neither technical time nor political time. So our team will stay in Bauer while the work is being done. The Red Star is Bauer and Bauer is the Red Star.
Your predecessors failed for 30 years. Why would it work with you this time?
Me, I have always been at the end of things. When I was a young sports assistant in 2001, the club was on the brink. In DH, I went around the investors, looked for them, we restructured the club. The club went up to the National. For once, there is a real political will, everyone is aligned: the city, the department, the region. Elected officials have the Red Star fiber. My predecessors did not realize the weight and importance of this club, you need a great team and a great stadium. It is the city that shines.
The Bauer stadium will not be listed on the map of the 2024 Olympics …
The Olympic Village will be 1.5 km away and I am convinced that a foreign delegation like the Brazilian soccer team would have every interest in coming to us when the stadium is ready. That’s the goal, and I’ll go see Tony Estanguet ( Editor’s note: boss of the 2024 Olympic Games organizing committee ) …
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr