The presidents of basketball and volleyball in chorus: “Movements to collapse, let’s reopen everything”

Situation at the limit, budgets in the red: the capacity of the sports halls to date of 35% remains a very low figure to allow the survival of the clubs, the aim is at least 50%

The public hub (currently only 35% of the capacity of the plants), the “refreshments” that delay and the tax reliefs that are hiding. The start of the basketball and volleyball championships is almost upon us, but the leaders of the two movements continue to launch requests for help to the government. The president of the Italian basketball federation Gianni Petrucci, the president of the Legabasket Umberto Gandini, the president of the national basketball league Pietro Basciano, the adviser of the women’s league Edvige Cavallini, the president of the volleyball federation Giuseppe Manfredi, the president of the men’s Legavolley Massimo Righi and the vice president of the women’s league Giuseppe Pirola talked about it in a forum organized by the Gazzetta dello Sport, to try to sensitize the government which in the last few hours has finally signed the implementing decree on the reimbursement of health care expenses.

Hide and seek

Gianni Petrucci, president of the Fip, is a close ally of the League in the request for the expansion of the openings of the sports halls: even the organized supporters, who have given him a document against all the restrictions, support the former number 1 of the Coni in this battle. “In this debate, in the end it all boils down to what the CTS establishes as if it were an infallible body – Petrucci argues with style -. And when we ask for explanations or justifications, no one answers. Everyone plays hide and seek. The clubs are struggling to move forward, but behind this emergency there is an even worse aspect: the disaffection of the fans who no longer come to the stadium. Basketball without an audience has lost a pool of 75,000 young people who could be recruited, which means jumping on foot equal to a generation. Therefore we ask immediately for 50% in order to arrive shortly at 100% of the admissions. Half of the spectators are not enough. We have to reopen everything! Political parties of the majority as well as the Conference of Regions have also expressed themselves in this sense ”. Moreover, while the two decrees to be transformed into law on quotas of 25% and then 35% are pending, the CTS will decide on 1 October on a possible enlargement. On the same wavelength the president of Fipav, Giuseppe Manfredi. “We must restart the virtuous circle: high level, public, families, children, new members”.

Losses

Umberto Gandini, president of Legabasket, held the bar straight in the face of hypotheses of non-restart of the championship even if the numbers are merciless: “In the 18 months, between the closure of 2020 and the empty facilities of 2021, Serie A basketball has lost 30% of its market share for a total of 40 million lost revenue between the ticket office and sponsors. The whole of Europe is moving towards total reopening, but in Italy a misleading message passes: in the face of the Green pass and the ever-expanding vaccination process, 35% is imposed on us. It means that indoor plants seem unsafe, but they are not. We will start the championship with 35% hoping to go up to 50% and then reach 100% as soon as possible “. If basketball cries, volleyball doesn’t laugh. On the contrary. “Our sport thrives on ticketing and sponsorships – explains Massimo Righi, president of the men’s Legavolley -. We have had heavy losses: 28 million between sponsors and lost receipts, plus 1 million and a half in health care costs. There are exasperated companies that are also thinking about a class action “.

Women and amateurs

In basketball, even among amateurs, men and women, there is great discontent: “We have lost 65% of the value of sponsorships, with -45% of market share and -37 million in collections – counts Pietro Basciano, president of the Lnp who unites 92 clubs between A-2 and B -. But there is also the related aspect that should not be overlooked: the restrictions have prompted the clubs to cut jobs. It is a serious situation also from a human point of view “. In women, the numbers are lower, but the themes are the same: “Behind the big four of A-1, all the others are struggling – commented Edvige Cavallini, councilor of the women’s league and director of Geas -. Our movement lost € 1 million 800 thousand in A-1 and € 900 thousand in A-2. These are important figures for clubs like ours which attract 500 media viewers ”. The minus sign in women’s volleyball is much higher. “Between the lack of sponsorships, missed collections and the increase in health costs – concludes Giuseppe Pirola, vice president of the women’s Legavolley – we have quantified a loss of 14 million euros between A-1 and A-2”. The alarm has been raised and time is running out. Basketball A begins on 25 September, volleyball Super League on 10 October, followed by all the other championships. Basketball and volleyball need answers.

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The presidents of basketball and volleyball in chorus: “Movements to collapse, let’s reopen everything”

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