Bernard Lacombe, special advisor to Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas, admits the club may have got things wrong over Bafetimbi Gomis.
Gomis has been at loggerheads with Lyon over his future since last year and this summer, he was banished from the first team as he looked set to leave.
Numerous deals came and went, with Newcastle coming closest to striking a deal before it fell through with the player refusing to take a drop in wages.
Gomis has insisted he will not be signing a new deal, but he is now back training and Lyon are ready to use him.
"Gomis? With him the problem was a financial one, not a sporting one," Lacombe said.
"How could you talk about a sporting problem with a player that scores between 15 and 20 goals for several seasons?
"The question we could ask is 'Should we have sent him pre-season training with the whole squad?' Maybe we should. We didn't and it was a decision by the whole club, but perhaps we were not good.
"The football world is sometimes merciless, there is no other word. It was difficult for Bafe, and for the club, for everyone but working again with the coach is not a problem. Remi Garde is not a spiteful person."
Lacombe insisted that Lyon cannot expect miracles from Gomis - after they made a torrid start to the new season - losing two league games and also going out of the Champions League.
"He won't be our saviour, don't expect miracles," he said.
"Pace is the thing the most difficult to find again and with Jimmy Briand (he has been injured since the summer) neither of them will be at their best, people have to understand that."