There were crazy scenes at St Etienne’s Stade Geoffroy-Guichard stadium on Sunday evening following the club’s relegation to Ligue 2.
St Etienne were beaten in a penalty by Auxerre in the relegation/promotion play-off and will play in France’s second-tier next season.
Their fans lost the plot at full-time, storming the pitch and launching flares.
The players were swiftly evacuated as riot police intervened. Footage showed the players hurrying up the tunnel to escape the home fans.
St Etienne’s relegation was confirmed when they were beaten by Auxerre in a penalty shootout to decide the relegation/promotion play-off.
The two-legged tie finished 2-2 on aggregate and went to penalties. After St Etienne’s Ryad Boudebouz missed the opening spot-kick, the visitors scored all of theirs to seal the hosts’ fate.
Home fans immediately stormed the pitch with flares and let flares off in truly ugly scenes.
— Adrien Blettery (@AdBlettery) May 29, 2022
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 29, 2022
I wanted you to stay up @ASSEofficiel but turns out your fans have disgraced themselves, again.
You should be relegated out of French. League football.
— Matty O’Toole🇺🇦 (@MatthewHoneyma9) May 29, 2022
Riot police helped clear the pitch but the fans caused serious damage. According to RMC, and as quoted by Get French Football News, seats were being burned in the stands, which the fire brigade put out.
St Etienne released statement about club’s future
After the result, St Etienne released a statement claiming “important news” about the club will soon be announced.
“If we ever committed errors in the past season, we have never stopped working to ensure the longevity of Saint-Étienne, including on the financial situation, which will allow it to compete in Ligue 2 next season,” the statement read, per GFFN.
“Shortly, we will announce important news concerning the future of the club. An important page of our lives is turning, but we place the institution of Saint-Étienne above everything and hope that it will re-find very quickly – and we are convinced that it will – the path of the elite.”
St Etienne are expected to be sold to David Blitzer’s multi-club group.