Football Season Guide

AC Ajaccio




Ghislain Gimbert (r) (att) released; Alliou Dembele (sp) (mid) to Laval; Yann Boe-Kane (r) (mid) to Le Mans; Riad Nouri (k) (mid) released; Anthony Marin (sp) (def) released; Manuel Cabit (r) (def) to FC Metz; Clement Michelin (sp) (def) to Toulouse FC - loan ended; Naoto Sawai (sp) (mid) to Tokyo Verdy (JPN) - loan ended

AC Ajaccio only avoided relegation on the final day last season, while their local rivals Gazelec ended up going down after losing in a play-off to Le Mans. It was the third time in the five seasons since they were relegated from the top flight that Ajaccio had finished in 17th place, and they appear ill-prepared to challenge higher up the Ligue 2 standings in the campaign ahead. It was only on July 12, two weeks before the start of the season, that the club's second-tier status was confirmed after French football's financial watchdog initially said they should be demoted to the third division due to the state of their accounts. Coach Olivier Pantaloni was therefore left in a race against time to build a competitive squad, with a host of key players having left the club. Player of the year last season, attacking midfielder Riad Nouri led the exodus as he moved to Turkey. Ghislain Gimbert and Yann Boe-Kane are other experienced players to depart, while full-back Manuel Cabit has stepped up to Ligue 1 with Metz. It is going to take a monumental effort for Pantaloni to reconstruct his side before Le Havre visit Corsica on July 26.