the iconic Anny Courtade wants to restore AS Cannes to its former glory

At 82, the one who made RC Cannes volleyball the most successful club in French collective sports is still bursting with energy and ambition. President of the football club since 2019, after having refused for a long time, Anny Courtade hopes to replace AS Cannes, today in N3 and opponent of Dijon this Saturday in the 32nd finals of the Coupe de France, in the professional world.

She is the most successful President of France and still does not know how to say no when challenged. In 2016, Anny Courtade left RC Cannes after 25 years of presidency winning 20 French championship titles, 19 French cups and 2 Champions Leagues, her fondest memory so far. « There is the first title of champion of France but the Champion’s League in Istanbul, it is extraordinary », remembers the head of company. « We were the smallest budget in Europe, there were only male spectators, it was a hostile environment and when I heard the Marseillaise sing, I was full of pride for our team, the sport in general and France. We were told it was an accident and the following year in Poland, we win again, I still shudder. I would like to find that adrenaline that exists in high performance sport and not in business. « 

So when he sees her leaving volleyball, the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, jumps at the chance. « I was elected mayor in 2014 and the club, which had just filed for bankruptcy, went down to the 7th division. AS Cannes has a history and I think it has a future. I am attached to it because it is is where my father started his professional football career, my grandfather was a leader and I saw, like so many others, start Zidane, Vieira, Micoud, Luccin, Frey… So we restructured the club, j I put Anny on the steering committee and I wanted her to become President. She is a woman of rigor and passion and in this universe you need both. What RC Cannes has won is colossal, it is the fruit of Anny Courtade’s commitment, who knows how to trust talent, surround himself with skills and bring extra soul and money when needed. « 

But Anny Courtade refused for a long time the post of president before giving in following the resignation of Johann Micoud in 2019. « I learned in the press that I was the new president. The mayor told me ‘here you have lost three years, ”she said amused.

Small size, big character

Today in the 5th division (N3), AS Cannes is aiming for the climb this season but must fight hard within a group raised between teams from the Marseille basin and trips to Corsica, sometimes perilous. Last week, Cannes moved to the lawn of the leader, Furiani. Led 2-0 ten minutes from the end, the ASC manages to win the draw (2-2). If he appreciated the strength of character of his players, coach Jean-Noël Cabezas was also able to admire that of his President. « She went to yell at the President of Furiani because she didn’t like some things. She’s not afraid of anything, she doesn’t doubt anything, she goes for it. »

The anecdote does not surprise Victoria Ravva, ex-French international and legendary player of the RC Cannes era Courtade between 1995 and 2015. « She had her poop character, it must be said, laughs the native of Tbilisi, Georgia. Anny could come towards us and with her 1.63m looking at us from the bottom up and yelling at us like children of 5. Sometimes I was afraid of her, we were afraid to come out of the locker room because she was impressive. « 

But the art collector is, ultimately, always appreciated by players who cross her path. « She is very close to us, admits the goalkeeper of AS Cannes, Florian Verplanck, holder this Saturday against Dijon in the Coupe de France. He is someone very attentive who speaks to us regularly, she comes often in training, comes to see all the matches. We feel her behind us, it pushes us to give her back what she gives us on a daily basis.  » « It amuses the other presidents a lot that I go to all the matches, » smiles Anny Courtade, particularly close to Jean-Pierre Rivère, her counterpart from Nice. « We have to show them that we love them, that we share the joys and sorrows. It’s like in a company with employees, it is only in the exchange that we are enriched. « 

There has been an exchange for 20 years between Anny Courtade and Victoria Ravva. « She knew everything about our lives and as soon as we had the slightest problem she would help us, confirms the ex-volleyball player. She was maternal with most and it is true that she took us for her daughters. One day. Charlotte, her real daughter, had also told me ‘If she had wanted to have another daughter, it would have been someone like you’ « .

« Five to seven years to find La Ligue 2 »

Now responsible for events at the AS Cannes volleyball club, Victoria Ravva draws a lot of inspiration from its former president. « I learned a lot from her. My success in my professional life, I owe her a bit because she was my example. I saw how she worked and imposed herself in a male environment. This adventure with her was an incredible lesson in life.  » The coach of AS Cannes also uses the figure of the octogenarian to convey certain messages. « She brings rigor and wants to succeed in everything she does », sums up Jean-Noël Cabezas: « I use Anny in my speech because he is someone who never gives up. »

And Cannes will not have to give up to fulfill its objective of rising in order to find the professional world, nel. « This club is not at all in the place it should be and our project is, over five to seven years, to find Ligue 2 » says the President who has spent more than fifty meetings with possible investors or buyers in twelve months. « There is a real interest in AS Cannes which has known great vicissitudes, the club should regain a rank worthy of its past in memory and in honor of Zidane, Bellone, Lambourde, Luccin, who made its reputation and its history. « 

And that will require a rise in N2 at the end of the season. To the question of the preference between a Coupe de France or an accession to the upper scale for next season: « Both my captain, answers Courtade. I have always been ambitious. Did you imagine the PSG-Cannes poster? would be extravagant. In the Coupe de France, we always expect phenomenal surprises.  » Before that, it will be necessary to pass Dijon (L2) after having taken out Rodez L2) on penalties during the previous round. Fortunately, Anny Courtade has the recipe for success.

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