Mar 18, 1949
|Age||73 years old|
In 1990, René Ruello became President of Stade Rennais, who were plying their trade in the French First Division. He couldn’t have asked more from his team than surviving relegation, or getting promoted back to the top flight (from 1992 onwards.) In handing the reins of the First Team to Michel Le Milinaire in 1993, he was vindicated in his choice as the new manager assured promotion to the First Division at the first time of asking, with a young and talented team led by players such as André, Gourvennec or Wiltord. After comfortably avoiding relegation in 1995, the club qualified for the Intertoto Cup in 1996. In order to progress further, Assistant Manager Yves Colleu took over from Le Milinaire. But things didn’t work out for him, and the club returned to the stress of occupying the bottom half of the table until 1998, when François Pinault acquired the club, and installed Pierre Blayau as the new President. In October 2000, Blayau was relieved of his duties, and Ruello returned to take on the mantle of President. Eighteen months later, after the upheaval of Le Guen’s departure and the disappointing tenure of Christian Gourcuff as Manager, Ruello was once again axed with the club’s restructuring programme initiated by Pierre Dréossi and Emmanuel Cueff. In May 2014, he returned for a third period of office in place of Frédéric de Saint-Sernin. This time he arrived with the firm intention to construct a “Club” (with its own identity.) He marked the beginning of his third mandate with the project for the stadium, first to have it renamed (from Route de Lorient Stadium to Roazhon Park), and then to have the seats replaced by new ones in the club coulours of Red. In the summer of 2015, when Jocelyn Gourvennec seemed poised to become First Team Manager, Ruello shocked everyone by controversially extending the contract of under-fire boss Philippe Montanier. In January 2016, he fired his First Team Manager when his team were sitting pretty, 4th in Ligue 1, to call on his temporary advisor Rolland Courbis as his replacement. Courbis failed in his objective of qualifying the team for Europe though (finishing 9th), and in May 2016, Christian Gourcuff was recalled to manage his old club. After an obligatory season of transition, where Rennes finished a creditable 9th, the Red and Blacks sank fast at the beginning of the 2017/2018 season. On 3rd November 2017, President Ruello resigned from his role on the evening of a fourth straight league victory with a win over Bordeaux, to be replaced by Olivier Létang.