July 1, 2022

Health gauge: worried but pragmatic French sport

Faced with the surge in contamination in recent days, the executive announced several measures on Monday, some of which will again affect French professional sport: from Monday and for three weeks, “large gatherings will be limited to a gauge of 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 people outdoors“said Mr. Castex on Monday.

In addition, the refreshment stalls will have to close with the ban on “consumption of food and drink in all cinemas, theaters, sports facilities and public transport“, announced by the Prime Minister.

These two measures risk weighing down the revenues of basketball, handball, volleyball, rugby and football clubs, already hard hit since the start of the health crisis.

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The bad surprise is that with the return of gauges, it is a drop in revenue, worries the president of Metz (D1 female handball), Thierry Weizman. This decreases revenue by 50%, from 4,000 spectators normally, we will go to 2,000. Plus the impact on the refreshments, on the VIP services that we will not be able to afford because it is very complicated (the standing service is stopped), that’s annoying.

Men’s handball will however be spared by these measures, since the championship will not resume until February to make way for the Euro, from January 13 to 30 in Hungary and Slovakia.

– Support for clubs to compensate? –

On the other hand, no cut for French rugby, which is worried about these new restrictions: “Rugby is a convivial sport whose resources, more than 60% on average, are linked to the presence of the public and to partners during matches, notes the director general of the LNR, Emmanuel Eschalier. New support for clubs will therefore be essential to (…) compensate.

As the Prime Minister indicated, additional aid will be studied to alleviate the restrictions imposed. The ministry has already allocated 107 million euros in 2020 and 100 million euros in 2021 to compensate for loss of ticketing“The Sports Ministry told AFP.

In autumn 2020, the EUR 107 million envelope had benefited more football (EUR 48 million) and rugby (EUR 40 million) than handball, basketball and volleyball (EUR 4 million), which generate less revenue. .

Conversely, the president of the Strasbourg basketball club, Martial Bellon, welcomes the new restrictions with pragmatism: “We are escaping in camera (…) It is not a satisfactory situation but I believe that we must remain reasonable.

– “Huge shortfall” –

Regarding football, the situation is particularly frustrating for Vannes OC (National 2, fourth echelon), an amateur club which hoped to fill its stadium by hosting Paris Saint-Germain on Monday (9:10 p.m.) in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France.

The shortfall is huge, regrets the president of the club, Maxime Ray. For security reasons we had to neutralize a tribune of 2,600 places for the only supporters of the PSG (…) which was to bring back 100,000 euros (and) will only bring back 5,000. More than 2,000 other places were neutralized because of the new gauges. The shortfall is there also of 50,000 euros without counting the receptions (refreshment bar and VIP tent) which will not take place and which will also cause the loss of 50,000 euros.

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Still in the Coupe de France, Lens, which is due to host Lille on Tuesday, has “asked his future opponent“and to the Federation (FFF) to bring the meeting forward”to Sunday January 2“, to escape the application of the gauge.


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