TFC : « On restait à la buvette avec les supporters jusqu’à 2h du matin… » L’ex de Toulouse Cédric Fauré, passé par Saint-Gilles, raconte ce club atypique

l’essentiel« I cannot reword »

Quels sont les souvenirs que vous conservez de votre expérience à l’Union Saint-Gilloise, Cédric Fauré ?

A very good memory. Even though, in terms of sports, it didn’t work out with the coach (Marc Grosjean NDLR) in the end. I had announced that I was ending my career, and he completely ignored me. That doesn’t take away from everything I did before, but he somewhat ruined the end of my career… That being said, everything went very well with the club. The supporters are wonderful. It’s simple: today, my best friends in Belgium are supporters of Saint-Gilles.

Comment définiriez-vous la structure génétique de ce club ?

Popular and family-oriented. Certainly, today, they have financial power (in 2018, the Union was bought by English billionaire Tony Bloom NDLR), they have evolved greatly in terms of sports; they have very good players, and these players are well replaced when they leave the club. They have also extended contracts for players who don’t play much anymore, but who align with the club’s spirit. I am thinking specifically of Guillaume François (33 years old), who is a friend. It is a club that respects its players.

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Qu’est-ce qui s’est passé depuis que vous avez mis fin à votre carrière, un an avant le rachat du club ?

The financial aspect. It’s the same in all clubs, when an investor comes with a lot of money, everything changes. In Saint-Gilles, they built two stands behind the goals, improved the infrastructure, and in terms of sports, it’s a club that has become much more competitive (since its acquisition in 2018, the club has been promoted to the first division, where it finished third last season, in addition to reaching the quarter-finals of the Europa League NDLR). We were also competitive at the time, but in the second division. However, there is one thing that has remained, and that is the soul of the supporters.

Has the essence of the club remained unchanged despite the significant influx of money?

The spirit of the supporters, yes. But things are changing. In my time, when I finished the matches, there was a small refreshment stand, and all the players would go there to chat with the supporters. We would stay there for hours, until midnight, one o’clock, two o’clock in the morning, or even later. We would stay there talking, having a beer. I had never experienced anything like that in my life. And that, that no longer exists. It was part of the Union. It’s truly the pure and tough Brussels club, close to its supporters, their accent… Now, you have to go to the amateur world to find that.

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Connaissez-vous le nouveau propriétaire, Tony Bloom ?

No, I have never met him. He also has Brighton, where he does very good things. He is someone who, I think, has ambitions for the club. Some might say that Brighton is his number one toy, but I don’t get the impression that he neglects Saint-Gilles. He wants the club to have good results and to progress.

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Pensez-vous que l’Union Saint-Gilloise et le TFC sont deux clubs similaires ?

No. First, and pay attention, I am talking about my time, but in Toulouse, when we talk about supporters, there was a core group, and everyone else was just spectators. When Marseille came, one-third of the stadium was for TFC and the rest for OM. Today, that is no longer the case, and it’s a very good thing. But in Saint-Gilles, no matter which club you receive, and it has always been like this, everyone is behind the team. It’s the same everywhere in Belgium. However, TFC is a club that is bigger than Saint-Gilles. Even though Saint-Gilles has been champion several times in the past, Toulouse is a much better structured club, the stadium is nothing like that of Saint-Gilles… The only small similarity is in the use of data. But the players in Saint-Gilles don’t have the same facilities as at the Stadium, the budgets, the salaries, are completely different. Ultimately, the biggest similarity between these two clubs is me (laughs)!

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Y a-t-il des joueurs spécifiques à surveiller du côté de Saint-Gilles ?

In front, there is Dennis Eckert Ayensa who scores a lot (5 goals in 5 league matches this season, editor’s note)… Lazare Amani in midfield is a great player, Cameron Puertas is also gaining importance. There are also important leaders who are still here, goalkeeper Anthony Moris (33 years old, at the club since 2020, editor’s note), defender Christian Burgess (31 years old, at the club since 2020). But Saint-Gilles is a team. These are guys who fight for each other.

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