New venue, new revenues, new sponsor, new workforce, new budget, new legal and economic structure but for… identical ambitions. The Saint-Chamond Basket Vallée du Gier (SCBVG) is trying to digest the disappointment at the buzzer of a breathless season which could have (should?) have sent it to the elite by bouncing back on the rest of the adventure. Its president Roger Paour details for If Saint-Etienne the preparation for the coming season.
“If I were Cartesian, I would say that it is a blessing in disguise: the elite Betclic (ex Pro A and Jeep elite) it was probably too early. Now, we would never have refused: in very high-level sport, when the train passes…”, notes a shared Roger Paour. The president of the Saint-Chamond Basket Vallée du Gier (SCBVG) receives us in the arch-new offices of the Arena. The club moved there at the end of May. Couldn’t take any pictures inside. The owner of the premises, Saint-Etienne Métropole, does not want to let the slightest dust escape before the official inauguration of the 4,200-seat hall scheduled for the weekend of September 17 and 18 (if friendly matches are held there, they would then be … behind closed doors!). Impossible, either, for the SCBVG not to leave a few regrets lying around under the racket, even three weeks after the disappointing outcome of such a historic 2021/22 season.
Dominating his championship from A to Y to fail at Z before immediately missing his second chance via the playoffs, it is not easy to digest: “Everyone is disappointed: us leaders, staff, players, partners and of course the public. » Especially being defeated from 1er turn of this final phase by the 9e regular season standings. But “after all, following our galley 2020/21 season and the snatch maintenance, the specialists were predicting a 16eplace, then we would have all signed up for it this year”, recalls Roger Paour. So too, the SCBVG is starting to move on, we now have to bounce back while remaining reasonable. That’s good, it’s in his DNA. It is therefore natural that the club is looking into the future. A 2022/23 season where he must integrate his new commercial tool that is the Arena. A big change which is not the only one.
A SAS dissociated from the association
If the SCBVG resumes its original roadmap – qualifying each year for the play-offs and clearly aiming for the elite within 2 to 3 years – the club is in the process of creating a professional SAS (the Siret number is received, the exercise begins on July 1) which will be chaired by Roger Paour, now dissociated from the association. The second, which will demand (like the operation of ASSE) the election of a specific presidency and which will send a non-executive member to represent the Board of the SAS, will cover the activities of the women’s team promoted in N2 this year, the men’s team 2 which evolves at the second regional level, the basketball school for a total of about 400 licensees. They will continue to play at the Halle Boulloche or in the halls of Saint-Chamond and the Gier valley with the exception of the women’s elite who will play in the annex hall of the Arena.
The U18 elite and, above, the training center will be part of the SAS as well as the professional team of Pro B (a total of 35 players) and all its staff. “As soon as you reach €800,000 gross annual payroll and €1.2 million in turnover, it is a legal obligation to create a separate SASsays Roger Paour. Afterwards, it is logical in the evolution of the club. We were in the last two in Pro B not to have already done so. » The payroll of the professional team will indeed reach this bar of 800,000 €. Perhaps she herself will be slightly overwhelmed in the event of player recruitment opportunities. But it’s not just a matter of land.
Icar Peugeot becomes main sponsor
Because to the three members of the staff in Pro B (coach Alain Thinet who has returned for a year, his assistant and a physical trainer) and to the four coaches of the Training Center already employed, are now also added a fifth CDI (+ a or two work-study trainees to come) behind the scenes: those of administration, communication and marketing. Even if, despite this slight strengthening of the framework, it will always be necessary to count on the work done by around fifty active volunteers and around forty other more irregular ones. The SCBVG will go from a total 2021/22 budget of €2.2 million to €2.85 million in 2022/23 (including €290,000 for the association). “This takes us from 12e to 7 or 8e budget approximatelyif we look at the past season”Enough to assume ambitions, and a rise in power without having to take the club for the dancer of a Gulf country doped with petrodollars.
Its management has, of course, counted on a – of course reasonable – significant increase in its own revenue from €1.1 million to €1.7 million with the new venue and the enthusiasm it is generating between direct advertising, formulas various partnerships, subscription ticketing, sale of tickets to the match and now also event rental made possible by the Arena… “We didn’t catch firepromises Roger Paour. We are starting with 240-250 partners compared to 210 last year (for the 350 targeted within 2 years) with a logical increase in our prices after our services and with the room to come. We can go up to 800 seats in our boxes and lounges on two floors. » Icar Peugeot becomes the main sponsor of the club, displayed on the shirt, even if the commitment of Aésio remains at a significant level outside the outfits but on the other hand visible on the floor.
A year of getting started
Still, local authorities and their subsidies will still weigh heavily in the budget: not far from 30%. With, among others, but starting with the €100,000 and €245,000 from the Department for the Training Center and the club as well as the €470,000 from Saint-Etienne Métropole, from which however €110,000 of annual fee will have to be deducted for the use of his Arena. An Arena for which subscriptions have been open since the beginning of the month. 250 have been sold (180 in 2021/22) for a target of 500. The SCBVG’s plans are counting on an average attendance of 2,500 spectators when Boulloche, with its use optimized to the maximum, filled up at almost every meeting with its 1,200 places. The development context will be radically different and more professional service providers, certainly helped by volunteers, will manage security and refreshment/snack type services more closely.
“We are no longer on the same references. The coming year will be a year of getting started learning around the Arena”, warns Roger Paour. With the Parisian company Arenamétrix (it can’t be invented!) and the couramiaud Webmedia RM as a service provider for its digital marketing and communication, the SCBVG is targeting a wider audience than Saint-Chamond and its surroundings and will launch a poster campaign in Saint-Etienne Métropole in the second part of the summer. On the staff side too, it will be necessary to evolve. Boyer, Guichard and Hoyaux continue their contracts. Magrit, Varence, Hammor extended. Five departures, with that recently announced of Oguine, have so far been compensated by the only recruit that is Guillaume Payen Boucard. It will therefore be necessary to recruit at least three players by mid-July (two strong wingers and pivots and a rear capable of being a leader). The resumption of training is set for August 7. That of the season in October.