The bubble of the ISL (International Swimming League), the private swimming league, therefore ended up breaking through. But not in terms of health, with swimmers carefully sealed off for five weeks. The waterway came from behind the scenes. Sunday, Jean-François Salessy, agent of Florent Manaudou and general manager of the franchise (Energy Standard) where the Frenchman operates, Hubert Montcoudiol, sales director of ISL, or even Pierre Cluzel, who worked in his staff, slammed the door.
The trio had already returned to Paris even before the end of the second ISL semi-final scheduled for the evening … In a long open letter addressed to billionaire Konstantin Grigorishin, the project’s sole financier, Salessy detailed his grievances. The former manager of CN Marseille evokes a backdrop that is much less brilliant than the performances of the athletes in the Duna Arena in Budapest and no longer “wishes to be part of the farce”.
“I must admit that you put a lot of energy into building a competitive format, an attractive audiovisual product, and only pampering the main actors of the film with prize money: the swimmers and their coaches who were previously underpaid, explains Salessy. Swimmers’ agents, managers, service providers, technicians and support staff are just extras in this film. You don’t pay managers, administrative staff and suppliers who can be replaced anyway in a perpetual turnover […] This illustrates that the ISL is an iceberg with an attractive visible part and a much darker submerged side. “
“Fairness and financial transparency must be basic principles”
Salessy received 10,000 euros out of the 90,000 euros promised. He will never see the rest. “Already it was difficult with the crisis, he tells us, there he murdered me. I’m going to have to shut down my company because of him. Montcoudriol met Grigorishin to claim his due. “I will not pay you what I owe you,” he was told. He does not even know if he is fired or resigned. And for good reason. Seduced by the innovative concept born last year and the aura of its investor, the two men did not sign any writing. They are far from being the only ones… “I had the impression of being in a sect,” says Salessy.
“Your billionaire status prevents candid and passionate people from asking you for guarantees, legal contracts, and worrying about a minimum of formalism,” he continues in his letter, also regretting a sham sports justice. No one wonders how the ISL game schedule is set (Editor’s note: while Grigorishin is both the boss of the league and the Energy Standard team), how the draw is organized, how the budgets of each team are determined since the League has only one funder. Fairness and financial transparency should be basic principles, especially when criticizing other competition formats […] ISL is a boat without governance, but with a single shareholder and generals without powers. “
The blackness denounced by the methods of the businessman with the triple Ukrainian, Russian and Cypriot passport, contrasts with his relaxed appearance and the seductive, even hypnotizing speech he gives to the swimmers. In a colorful t-shirt and shorts, he has been wandering for a month and a half in the halls of the two hotels requisitioned on Marguerite Island to preach the good word to athletes already largely convinced by a different approach to their discipline and especially a salary recognition …
“He has a completely different view of things from what has happened. He understands, and that’s why he’s a billionaire. He is very intelligent and gives himself the means to follow his ideas to the end, ”says Beryl Gastaldello.
“Florent Manaudou has nothing to do with this story”
“I feel responsible towards them, he confided to us a few hours before the clash. They believe in this project and I consider them as partners (Editor’s note: it is indeed the participation of the elite that will make the success of the model). We can do a lot of great things together, but I explained to them that it is a great challenge because we are pioneers. It is a huge responsibility that we have towards future generations because if we fail, it will be harder to start over next time… ”
Despite the problems in the organization chart, the ISL continues until the final next weekend. Without Manaudou’s agent, but with the Olympic gold medalist in the 50 m NL in the Hungarian basin. “Let things be very clear, insists Jean-François Salessy, convinced of having been bombarded manager to lock the presence of the champion at the ISL. Florent is just a swimmer and he has absolutely nothing to do with this story. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr