Operation demining. The meeting around Emmanuel Macron, at the end of the morning on Tuesday, November 17, of part of the government and about twenty players from the sports world was not on the agenda of the Elysee. But the Head of State invited himself at the last minute in a case that was beginning to weigh visibly too much for the Minister Delegate Roxana Maracineanu and her boss in charge of national education and sports, Jean-Michel Blanquer.
Because the tone continues to rise in a sports sector which is increasingly sounding the alarm bells in the face of the pandemic. Monday 16, the leaders of the professional leagues of handball, basketball, volleyball, as well as the president of the French Federation of ice hockey took up the pen to hammer out that, without the cumulative support of their partners, the fans but especially the authorities, many of their clubs “Will not rise” of this period which forced them behind closed doors, with losses already estimated in total at more than 40 million euros.
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For rugby alone, the French Federation points to half-mast revenues of at least 34 million, and the National League estimates at 180 million euros the shortfall of a half-season without spectators.
A sporting movement at bay
Amateur sport is also at bay. The first results of a survey carried out by the National Olympic Committee among its clubs reveal the loss of 1.6 million members, or 20% of the workforce. Thus 260 million euros in contributions would have gone, to which we would have to add more than 110 million of side losses (partnership, refreshments, lottery, etc.).
For private gyms, “In November, we reached 1.2 billion euros in lost revenue, which is almost half of 2019 revenue, recalls Thierry Doll, the president of the France Active union which brings them together. In the coming months 20 to 30% of theaters are likely to close. Finally, we need visibility, and above all that we be trusted for a resumption of activity. “
Lack of confidence, of consideration, the remark often returns among the actors of the sports movement. Unloved? Far from it, we swear to the ministry, assuring that the entire sector has already benefited from around 4 billion euros in aid, mainly by financing short-time working. Also highlighted, the recovery plan of 120 million euros announced in early September.
Except that it is set up for two years, in 2021 and 2022, and that these envelopes respond little to the emergency: 50 million for the energy transition of sports equipment, 40 million for job creation in the associative sector and 30 million to clubs and federations, including 9 million reserved for digital development.
So more was needed. “We first appreciated the unprecedented listening of the President, the Prime Minister and four ministers, declares Virgile Caillet, the general delegate of the Union sport et cycle which represents the commercial sector of sporting leisure, present at the meeting of nearly two and a half hours. It was very important to hear them say that sport was a major issue for them for the whole of society. But we still have to work to follow through on all the promises made. “
For professional sport, no big announcements, except the confirmation of the release, after the European green light, of the compensation fund for ticket office losses of 107 million euros, and the exemption of charges for October, November and December, an envelope of 105 million euros.
For amateur sport, the big deal is the creation of a “sport pass”, helping families to help re-enroll young people in clubs. (read below). An emergency fund of 15 million euros for clubs really in danger should also be created, as an aid to federations, but without precise figures for the time being. The sports halls remain more in the dark, but with the hope of a resumption of activity in January.
Nothing revolutionary? “We were leaving from afar, nuance Denis Masseglia, the president of the Cnosf. We needed to be heard, it’s done. We are better equipped to face the difficulties that lie ahead. We can see a little light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. “ The mine clearance operation went rather well.
A “sport pass” for young people
It should be launched in 2021 and it is ” A very good news “, according to the president of the French National Olympic Committee Denis Masseglia: the Élysée has announced the creation of a “sport pass”, a help to families with a total cost of 100 million euros, in order to encourage young people to register or re-register in a sports club. “It was a priority for us”, welcomes Denis Masseglia, who hopes that the device will become sustainable, and that it will make it possible to compensate for the losses of licensees due to the coronavirus. Young people who can also find
the path of the grounds, a progressive opening to the practice for minors being desired from the month of December, with adapted health protocols.