Interview: Romain Danze


After a draw in Nantes (1-1) and a win against Lorient (1-0), Stade Rennais are preparing to play their third Breton derby in as many games in Ligue 1. Romain Danze and his teammates travel to the Stade du Roudourou this weekend. Captain of SRFC, the full back knows by heart the importance of these matches. After returning from a winter break to the busy La Piverdière, he spoke exclusively to DieseFoot.

During the break, there were some great people at La Piverdière. Were you able to rub shoulders with the French team or Zidane?

No, I did not meet les Blues. I only saw the match against Albania, as a normal supporter. We did not see them in training … Zidane, this was not the first time he came to Rennes. It’s always nice to see people like that. But they were there for their work and not for sightseeing. We have not had too much contact with them, they were very focused on their work and mission.

You just played Nantes and Lorient. Now you face another Breton derby, with the trip to Guingamp. Why are these games special?

It’s a derby, they are always important games for regional supremacy. For our fans, too, they are important. Especially since we know that there are things to be forgiven by them. If we can win these games that matter to them, it’s always a plus. And, in our dynamic, it is always important to win. But, you know, a derby is always in proportion, throughout France.

Do you feel such importance in the week leading up to these games? The fans and media are they more prevalent?

This is especially the case in the derby against Nantes which is special. It’s really about this game that there is a real expectation from the fans. When the schedule comes out, people look for this date first. Playing at La Beaujoire is always a great moment for us and for them, because there is an atmosphere with a lot of tension. They are always good times to experience. Against Guingamp, there is less animosity between the two clubs, although there is always a supremacy to enforce.

Traditionally, Rennes do not succeed in Guingamp. How do you explain that?

I do not know (laughs) … It’s true that it’s been a while since Stade Rennais beat Guingamp in various competitions. There have not been many matches either, because they played a lot of their matches in Ligue 2 and even National.

Some Guingamp supports say there may be a superiority complex on the side of Rennes?

No! It is their source of motivation … Their slogan is “The peasants are back.” It’s their thing to motivate them and to make it that little guy versus the big man. But, we at Rennes, at no time was it in our heads.

Do you yearn to finish this run of matches undefeated against your Breton neighbours?

Yes. Especially that during last season we only won a single match of the six we played in derbies. We lost a lot of points in these meetings. If we can continue taking points in these run of match, it is always better, that’s for sure.

With you being from the region, are you more motivated than usual? Do you deliver a special message to motivate your teammates?

Yes, we explain the importance of these meetings, especially since the arrival of many new players this year. We also recognize that there are many teammates with experience and who have played in other derbies. They also know that there are three points at stake and ONLY three points!

You’re originally from Brittany. Rennes is in Ille-et-Vilaine, Lorient in Morbihan, Guingamp in Côtes d’Armor and Nantes, Loire-Atlantique. When you were young, what team did you support?

Rennes (laughs) … My first steps were at the stadium in Rennes. I never knew the golden age of Brest Armorique and I did not connect with the football in Brest.

You are currently seventh. What can Stade Rennais target this season?

There have been so many disappointments in the past that we will not set targets or shoot for the moon, because we are on a good run. We must remain measured and not forget what we have learned. We finished 12th and 13th the last two seasons, with a very complicated year last year. We will do the best possible and the statements will be made at the end. The season is still very long and a lot can still happen.

You have not missed a single minute this season. Mentally and physically, how do you deal with this run of matches?

In Rennes, there is no hassle of playing in Europe. We play one game a week, which I am able to cope with. In addition, the coach has not made me play in the Coupe de la Ligue. I stay on the pace of a weekly game. There are no worries, we all love to play football. In addition, we defenders in the course of a game rarely change, it is more frequently the attackers who are substituted. In my opinion, there are more defenders who play all the games than centre forwards.


Thanks to DieseFoot for their permission in publishing this translated interview. The original interview in French can be found here.

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Photo courtesy of beIN Sports



Mercato Round Up

Rennes badg

Mercato Round Up

With the summer transfer window now closed, we summarise the comings and goings at le Stade de la Route de Lorient.


New signings

Olivier Sorin

Age: 33

Position: Goalkeeper

Previous Club: AJ Auxerre

Bought For: Free

Quote: “It’s an interesting challenge.  I have already experienced Ligue 1 in the past.  I know Paul George Ntep, Axel Ngando and Zana Allee with whom I played with at Auxerre last season.  I want to meet all the objectives that the coach will set the group.” – Olivier Sorin

Benjamin Andre

Age: 24

Position: Defender

Previous Club: AC Ajaccio

Bought For: Free

Quote: “I already followed him when I was at Boulogne.  He started playing in Ligue 1 with Ajaccio very young.  All observers of football will tell you that he is a very good player. He is versatile.  I’m going to play him at right back because I think he really has great potential.  I think he has all the characteristics to emerge as right back.  There will be competition with Romain Danze. It is essential to have two players for each position. We found this out late last season with the departure of Emerson.” – Philippe Montanier

Fallou Diagne

Age: 25

Position: Defender

Previous Club: Freiburg (Germany)

Bought For: €1.50m

Quote: “Stade Rennais is a recognised club.  When I was asked to come, I did not hesitate.  Many Senegalese have played for the club such as Kader Mangane and Moussa Sow.  They had some great seasons here.  I spoke with Gelson (Fernandes).  His first impressions of the club are good.  I have to prove myself because I have not played in Ligue 1.” – Fallou Diagne

Edson Mexer 

Age: 25

Position: Defender

Previous Club: Nacional (Portugal)

Bought For: €2.20m

Quote: “I am excited to join Stade Rennais.  It’s a dream for me to play in Ligue 1.  I hope to defend the colors of the club with the greatest of success.” – Edson Mexer

Gjoko Zajkov

Age: 19

Position: Defender

Previous Club: Rabotnicki Skopje (Macedonia)

Bought For: Free

Quote: “It’s hard to find new central defenders at a very high level.  He is a young defender who is already playing for Macedonia.  He is very good technically and in the tackle.  He is a modern central defender.  We are happy to have him with us because a lot of big clubs were interested in him.  He was attracted to our project.  Stade Rennais FC is a good intermediate club that knows how to integrate youth.  These parameters led him to join us.” – Philippe Montanier

Gelson Fernandes

Age: 28

Position: Midfielder

Previous Club: Freiburg (Germany)

Bought For: €1.60m

Quote: “I’m glad I’ve now joined.  It was my choice to join Stade Rennais.  It’s a challenge that is exciting and I am ready for the challenge.  There is a very good team that is far from having exploited its potential.  I was also attracted by the club facilities.” – Gelson Fernandes

Christian Bruls

Age: 25

Position: Midfielder

Previous Club: KAA Gent

Bought For: €2.20m

Quote: “We followed Christian for a long time.  In particular, we already started discussions last spring.  He is a player that is technically very comfortable and also has a lot of heart.  He is also able to take set pieces. Last season in Nice, he was very consistent in his performance.” – Philippe Montanier

Sanjin Prcic

Age: 20

Position: Midfielder

Previous Club: FC Sochaux Montbeliard

Bought For: €1.00m

Quote: “I am very pleased to sign for the club.  Everyone has welcomed me very well.  This is the beginning of a new phase for me.  Here, all the conditions are met to advance and enrich me.  Stade Rennais has always been a very good club.  It is capable of playing in Europe.  I do not know them personally but I know there are experienced players who are able to guide the younger ones.” – Sanjin Prcic

Pedro Henrique

Age: 24

Position: Midfielder

Previous Club: FC Zurich (Switzerland)

Bought For: €1.00m

Quote: “Shabani Nonda, who played for Zurich and Stade Rennais has said positive things about the club.  I also know that there have been several Brazilians to play here.  I have heard from many that Alexander Frei had great success at the club.  I saw the match against Paris Saint-Germain and I was impressed with the level of the game.  Even though I know Stade Rennais had a difficult last season, there is a good potential.  My first goal is to get to know my new teammates and make my way into the team.  I want to progress at Stade Rennais and try to help the club to have a good season.” – Pedro Henrique

Habib Habibou

Age: 27

Position: Forward

Previous Club: KAA Gent

Bought For: €2.00m

Quote: “He is able to play up front or on the wing.  He has power and speed.  He also has a lot of experience.  He does not come to replace Ola Toivonen as he is versatile and they can play together.  These are tough positions.” – Philippe Montanier

Philipp Hosiner

Age: 25

Position: Forward

Previous Club: Austria Vienne (Austria)

Bought For: €1.90m

Quote: “He is a striker who scores goals.  He is very generous and combative in harrassing the defenders.  He is a pure centre forward.  It’s hard to appreciate the difficulty of the Austrian championship.  But when you see how he played in the match against Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League, he was at an international level.” – Philippe Montanier



Tiemoue Bakayoko – sold to AS Monaco for €8.00m

Romain Alessandrini – sold to Olympique de Marseille for €5.00m

Jonathan Pitroipa – sold to Al-Jazira for €3.00m

Dimitri Foulquier – sold to Granada for €2.80m

Julien Feret – released (SM Caen)

John Boye – released (Kayserispor)

Cheikh N’Diaye – released

Abdoulaye Diallo – loaned to Le Havre

Sadio Diallo – loaned to Lorient

Cheick Fantamady Diarra – loaned to AJ Auxerre

Cedric Hountondji – loaned to Chateauroux

Wesley Said – loaned to Laval

Pictures courtesy of and

Week 4 Match Report: SM Caen v Stade Rennais

Caen Rennes

Week 4 Match Report: SM Caen v Stade Rennais – 30 August 2014

Stade Rennais came away with all three points in Le Mans as they faced a Julien Feret led Caen, despite not being at their best.  With Kamil Grosicki and Paul-Georges Ntep restored to the starting 11, les Rouges et Noirs struggled against a Caen side who were determined from the off.

Within the opening 15 minutes, Caen had created two good chances.  After picking up a loose ball 20 yards out, Feret saw a rasping drive fly just the wrong side of the post.  Minutes later Bangaly-Fode Koita rose highest from a corner to crash a header against the crossbar.  Rennes had been given two warning shots early in the game.

The main talking point of the half came 30 minutes in.  After early picking up a yellow card for a late lunge on Ntep, N’Golo Kante lost his head when lunging in on Vincent Pajot and picked up a second booking and the inevitable red card.  The foul seemed to get to Pajot as he was booked shortly after for a similarly wild challenge on Herve Bazile.

Stade Rennais’ first real chance came late in the half as a Ntep cross found Abdoulaye Doucoure in the Caen penalty area, he knocked it down to Ola Toivonen.  The Swede took a heavy touch on his knee which meant the ball failed to come down in time leading to his shot flying over the bar.

Rennes fans Caen

Shortly after the break, Rennes made a double change as Grosicki and Pajot were replaced by Sanjin Prcic and Pedro Henrique.  The away side were on the back foot for most of the second half as Caen piled forward with attack after attack.  Crucially though they failed to create a clear cut chance.  Something they would go on to regret.

As the game wore on, it seemed that Caen were the most likely to get a winner.  Rennes though, should have been awarded a penalty less than 10 minutes from time as Henrique burst into the box only to be brought down by Thomas Lemar.  It seemed a clear infringement but the referee waved play on.  With only two minutes left, Jordan Adeoti needlessly brought down substitute Philipp Hosiner before Toivonen scored.  Hearts were in mouths as the referee disallowed the goal before fortunately pointing to the spot.  That left Toivonen the simple task of sending Caen goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre the wrong way to put les Rouges et Noirs ahead.

Rennes held out for victory, a win which takes them provisionally up to 5th place in Ligue 1.  It was encouraging to see les Rouges et Noirs come away with the points in a game where they were second best.  This wasn’t the case last season and can only be encouraging for the campaign ahead.  After the match, Caen native Costil agreed by saying that “this may seem like robbery”, he went on to say that “the win was important as we have important upcoming games against Paris and Marseille”.

There’s now a two week international break before the Stade de la Route de Lorient plays host to the visit of champions Paris Saint Germain.


Montanier: “We didn’t do an awful lot in the game and finding ourselves with an extra man did not really help us.  We never really managed to get the ball moving or create clear chances.  We had put together two good performances in a row and we were really hopeful coming into this match.  We were confident and thought we could show our qualities.  In the first half we won the ball back well and defended well but we struggled going forward.  And things became complicated after we found ourselves with the extra man.  Caen defended in numbers and were well organised, and we lacked the quality to break them down.  Against a brave and hard-working team like that the passing needs to be better, but we kept believing right to the end, even if we weren’t good.  We can be very satisfied with the result but we will know not to get carried away after that match.”

Pajot: “It was a tough game, we struggled to create chances.  The important thing is the victory. It has not demobilised us, we knew we had to be patient to score and that’s what we did.  When they were reduced to ten men, it bothered us.  This will serve as a lesson.  Every game since the beginning of the season is different.  It will be a mixture of all those as we try to get a good result against Paris!”

Doucoure: “We came to win.  It was difficult but we did it.  We are increasing momentum over the games, so it will be more automatic.  We will continue to gain momentum.”


SM Caen: Vercoutre, Appiah, Pierre, Calve, Da Silva, Kante, Adeoti, Feret (C), Nangis, Koita (Raspentino 65′), Bazile (Lemar 78′)

Yellow Card: Kante 16′, 29′

Red Card: Kante 29′

Stade Rennais: Costil, Danze (C), Mexer, Armand, M’Bengue, Fernandes, Pajot (Prcic 59′), Doucoure, Ntep (Hosiner 79′), Grosicki (Henrique 59′), Toivonen

Yellow Card: Pajot 33′, Armand 74′

Man of the Match: Costil – yet again, the Rennes number one produced a number of saves to keep les Rouges et Noirs in the game. An indispensable member of the team in a week where he should have received his first call up to les Bleus.

Pictures courtesy of and

Interview: Sanjin Prcic

Courtesy of

Interview: Sanjin Prcic

The official Stade Rennais website has published an interview with Bosnian midfielder Sanjin Prcic.  We have translated this below.

Sanjin, how did you experience your first games in “Rouge et Noir”?

It went very well since we won the first game 6-2 at home.  It was a very good game with a great atmosphere, the crowd was behind us, it was really great.  The second game was still positive in Saint-Etienne.  We are very happy with the result.  More generally, since I arrived, I am very happy with my integration.

In the matches against Evian and Saint-Etienne, you played well, did you expect such a rapid acclimatisation?

I did not.  Stade Rennais is a great club and we can still improve.  We see it every day in training.  You really feel the potential. The whole club is responsive which puts us at ease.  This is what has allowed me to integrate myself.  I really want to thank them.

Against Saint-Etienne, we saw you play on the right wing …

I’m more used to play in the centre.  It’s my job in training.  Moving on the right side did not bother me.  We must be able to strive, to make sacrifices for the team.

Courtesy of

We saw you take the set pieces.  Are you used to that?

As soon as I arrived at the training camp in Germany, the coach encouraged me to take them.  He told me not to hesitate to do so.  This is something that works a lot in training, it is important to find automation with the other players.  These are very important phases during the game where you can score a lot of goals.  From a young age, I love doing it and so I try to take corners and free kicks.

Against Evian we especially saw Gelson Fernandes speak often to you …

Gelson has great experience.  He helps us a lot and gives us advice that we try to follow.  This is only my second season in Ligue 1, I need advice from experienced players.  There are players like Sylvain (Armand) who have played for big clubs.  We observe, we take example from them.  It is important to have experienced players to guide us and help us in everyday life.

Courtesy of

You’re going to have your first cap for the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team, how do you feel?

I am very proud because it has been 5 years since I was selected (note: in the youth teams).  This is my first call up and I am very happy because the next matches are qualifiers for Euro 2016.  This is another major step taken forwards by me.

What do you think about the selection of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

This is a very good team, which gained momentum in the last 5 years and obtained their qualification for the last World Cup.  This was a first and historic moment for the country.  They failed to produce great games but it proves in the selection that Bosnia and Herzegovina is becoming a great team.  We also feel an enthusiasm around this selection.  All Bosnians are attached to the national team.  So we try to make them happy and give them emotion.

Interview and photos courtesy of are not liable for the translation.

Interview: Benoit Costil

Interview: Benoit Costil

Caen native and former Stade Malherbe Caen player, Benoit Costil has been interviewed for the official SM Caen website ahead of the game on Saturday.  Below is the translation.

How do you rate the start of the season for your team?

“Encouraging.  Our record in the last two games is positive. We responded well after our setback in Lyon in the opening game (0-2) by showing the value of efficiency against Evian (6-2) and solidity against St. Etienne (0-0).”

What ambitions do Stade Rennais have?

“We did not finish where we wanted to last season. Our objective is to play more consistently and avoid a scare like last year.  After that if we can snatch something interesting, we’re not going to deny it.  But do not forget that we face another season of transition with many departures and arrivals within the squad.”

Has last season left any traces?

“Not necessarily in the league. For the players who were here, it was especially the defeat in the final of the Coupe de France against Guingamp that made an impression.  Since I’ve been at the club, I already have had two failures in the final of cups.  But one of the qualities of top footballers is knowing how to rebound.  Moreover, the high turnover of the squad has also been used to trigger a new momentum.”

Courtesy of FFF

Courtesy of FFF

What is your mood ahead of the game against Stade Malherbe?

“First of all, I am disappointed not play at d’Ornano.  When I checked the calendar, I hoped one thing: we would not be one of the two matches to be played at Le Mans, however this is only a postponement, I will come back next season.  Otherwise I am very happy to face Caen by defending the shirt of a very good Ligue 1 club.”

What kind of match do you expect?

“Given their good start to the season, Caen will not have much to lose.  So I think while remaining organised, they’ll play a pretty game.  From what I’ve seen, their plans for the game are very coherent play.  Their coach has established an excellent organisation.  Then there’s my friend Julien Feret.  It’s already established that I get his shirt, but I hope he will not hurt us too.”

Have you kept your links with former club?

“If the pill was hard to swallow at the time of my departure, I found that in the last few years I now have some support.  My whole family vibrates “bleu et rouge”.  When I joined Malherbe, my father become a steward, my mother regularly volunteered and my big brother, Eddy, who joined me at the club a few years later and played until CFA, is now responsible for the goalkeepers at the training centre.”

Interview courtesy of SM Caen – Costil Interview. were not liable for the translated version.

Interview: Julien Feret

Interview: Julien Feret

Julien Feret has conducted an interview with  Below you will find the translated version of this.

Now captain with Stade Malherbe de Caen, the former Rennes midfielder welcomes his former teammates on Saturday night to the MMArena.  Although his last season in “Rouge et Noir” was not memorable, Julien Feret is still attached to Rennes.

Julian, how have you started in Caen?

It’s going well.  I was well received by the club.  My pre-season preparation was complete.  I have not had any physical problems.  I played the first three games.  It’s started pretty well.

Have you more responsibility in the Caen dressing room?

The coach wanted me to take the armband.  My role has not changed.  I’ve always had the habit of speaking quietly.  I try to bring my experience of professional football and Ligue 1.

You have already rubbed shoulders with Patrice Garande, your coach …

This is someone I knew when I was in Cherbourg in the National.  He is frank, wholesome, right … he does his job thoroughly.  He is capable of being a good coach in Ligue 1.  He was a major factor in my coming to Caen.

How are you approaching the game against your old team?

I approach in the same manner as the others.  There will be of course a somewhat larger share of emotions.  My departure from Rennes is still fresh.  But there is no more at stake than another game.

The meeting will be played on neutral ground at Le Mans (the World Equestrian Championships are currently being held at Caen’ normal home, the Stade Michel d’Ornano – Ed), do you feel like losing the advantage of playing at home?

We are trying to take over this ground and to act as if we were at home.  This will be the second game and the last at the MMArena.  Even if there was no result here this worked pretty well against Lille (0-1 defeat).

What are the ambitions of Caen this season?

The main objective is to stay in Ligue 1.  This is the one and only objective.  Each week we will spend together and focus on the games that we will be playing.  It is important for the club.

Are you confident?

I find that there is quality.  This feels like a totally focused group.  We know it will be hard and we will fight to the end.  I think we have the weapons to fight until the end.

Are you still in contact with some players at Rennes?

I speak to Benedict (Costil) fairly regularly, Sylvain (Armand) and “Ladanze” (Romain Danze) too.  These are the people I spent the most time with.  I may speak to them on the phone before the game.

Benoit Costil, does he try to profit by getting news from Normandy?

He pays attention to what you do. He came to see us in pre-season. I think he is very happy that I came to his first club (laughs).

He puts pressure you?

He wants me to be performing with Caen.  This is normal . He wants to see the Caen continue in Ligue 1.

Do you have any regrets since you left Stade Rennais?

I do not have one.  There is no nostalgia.  I spent two great seasons and a more complicated one that I want to forget.  I am always attentive to what the club does.  I spent six years in total at the club, which is not insignificant.

Among the young players that you knew at Rennes, which do you see at the highest level?

Steven (Moreira) really is the future.  For Cedric (Hountondji), it is more complicated because there are people in the centre of defence already.  But if his future it is not with Rennes, it could be elsewhere.  And I think Wesley (Said) is able to prevail.  He needs to click.  I see him at a very high level.


Interview and pictures courtesy of were not liable for the translated version.

News and Updates – 27 August 2014

News and Updates – 27 August 2014.

Transfer News

The club has completed the signing of Senegalese centre back Fallou Diagne from German club Freiburg.  The 25 year old has joined les Rouges et Noirs on a three year deal.  He will wear the number 14 shirt with “Fallou” on the back.  Diagne played for the Bundesliga team for two seasons and enhanced his reputation with scouts from teams such as Schalke taking a look at him.  He has experience of playing in France having spent over three seasons with Metz in Ligue 2.  He will join up with his former Freiburg teammate Gelson Fernandes.

Diagne: “Rennes are a recognized club.  When I was asked to join, I did not hesitate.  Many Senegalese players have played in Rennes such as Kader Mangane and Moussa Sow.  They had some great seasons here.  I spoke with Gelson, his first impressions of the club are good.  I have to prove myself because I have not played in Ligue 1.”

Philippe Montanier: “In the centre of defence, we have two experienced players with Mexer and Sylvain Armand and two younger players with Cedric Hountondji and Gjoko Zajkov, but we wanted an extra player.  He has been followed for many years by the club.  He is a French player with good athleticism.  Gelson Fernandes told us about him before he arrived.  He gave us good information about the man and the player.”

The arrival of Diagne, as the clubs tenth signing this summer, could now lead to a number of the younger players being sent out on loan to Ligue 2 teams for game time and experience.  These players could include Zana Allee, Adrian Hunou and Wesley Said.  Hunou has been linked with a move to Ajaccio, Laval and Clermont.

One youngster who has gone out on loan already is Cedric Hountondji who has joined Ligue 2 side Chateauroux on a season long loan.  The loan deal contains no option for purchase for Chateauroux so that should mean Hountondji will come back to les Rouges et Noirs will a full season of Ligue 2 football under his belt.  A good deal all round.

Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik, who has been relegated to the reserves the last few weeks, could finally be on his way out of the club.  He had previously been discussing a move to Italian club Palermo.  In the last few days though these talks have stalled.  L’Equipe now report that discussions have begun with English side West Ham United.

France Football have claimed that the club are looking to open talks with Yoann Gourcuff about as possible move back to Stade Rennais.  His wages and injury record may prove a stumbling block however.

Montanier told Ouest France that recruitment is “95% complete” but he still remains on the lookout for potential deals before the close of the transfer window.

Ouest France also report that Jean Makoun is hopeful of successful negotiations with another Gulf based club after talks broke down with UAE club Al-Fujairah.

Squad News

Kamil Grosicki has returned to training with the first team whilst Benjamin Andre and Axel Ngando trained separately.

Sega Coulibaly has been called up to the French U19 team for a mini-tournament in Serbia in early September.  They will play matches against the host nation and Ukraine.

Benoit Costil has picked up his award for best Ligue 1 goalkeeper for the 2013-14 season as voted for by France Football.  A well deserved winner!


In a rare interview, club owner Francois Pinault, has spoken with French newspaper Ouest France whereby he discussed his commitment to the club and his thoughts on financial investment.

“Every time one of my managers asked me for money, he got it.  It was perhaps not the best solution.  There is a new cycle, which begins with a management team that knows the business.  The money is not enough. We still need to learn other things. To finally take that step.  Creating a “bling-bling” team does not interest me.  This does not correspond to the UK.  I prefer solid guys on the field.”

Pinault, who has experienced more disappointment than joy with Rennes, also tells Ouest-France how he was in New York during the last Coupe de France final, where the club lost to Guingamp (0-2) again in May 2014, “we were on the 41st floor of a building and I was convinced we were going to finally win it.  We could not lose two finals in a row against the same opponent.  Fortunately the windows do not open in the towers …” joked the businessman.