News LILLE - RC Lens - VAFC : the fans...

LILLE – RC Lens – VAFC : the fans subscribers are torn between refund, credit, and donation to the club


The League 1 and League 2 are not gone by the end of their term. The clubs come to offer clearing solutions to the subscribers. They vary between the OSC, RC Lens, and the VAFC. What are the choices of the fans the north face of this new situation ?

On the 30th of April last, in the wake of announcements by the Government related to the pandemic COVID-19, the Board of Directors of the Professional Football League (LFP) actait the end of the season League 1 and League 2 at the end of the 28th day. Faced with this situation, completely the exceptional, the Sports Ministry has published on 8 may an order related to financial conditions of the resolution of certain contracts of ticketing in the case of force majeure in the areas of culture and sport. Leaders are tackling this problem even before the return of their players on the training grounds to prepare for the next season.

The LOSC still had four matches to play at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy against Monaco, Nice, Reims, and Amiens. The club has proposed, the 15 June, there are two choices : each holder of a subscription, and each holder of a ticket for a game unit or a pack for the season 2019-2020 may choose to receive a credit of a value and of such a nature equivalent to the cancelled service. This credit is to be used in a period of 18 months.

But the LOSC, as have most clubs, also offers to the subscribers renounce to this have as support in this period of exceptional economic. In this case, the OSC agrees to use at least 50% of the sums thus collected for projects that are dear to the club, its environment and its fans. Assets at the end of the 18-month period of validity will be the subject of a refund.

The supporters of the LOSC would appear to favour the first proposal. It is as well as the main section , the Dogues Virage Est (DVE), has asked the commercial department of the club benefit from having, as a group. The associations purchase each season a number of subscriptions, in order that their members are grouped in the same forum. As explained by the head of the DVE Donatien Drouin:” we have requested have, as this will allow us to have subscriptions less expensive, and more importantly to create a forum popular strong.” The DVE are, in effect, the kop of the LOSC.” But the gift is also an interesting solution because it will in particular benefit to fans to the animation forums”.

The fans in the waiting

That said, the DVE, as with all supporters ‘ associations of France, are in a state of uncertainty. When will be offered subscriptions ? In what number ? Under what conditions ? The first games will they be behind closed doors, or limited to only 5000 people ? “If you limit the access to 1 a seat on 2, it will be difficult for our members who are grouped with seats assigned, since we take the squares of the previous season”explains and Donatien Drouin, who expects the next government directives on the déconfinement.

The RC Lens offers the same formulas to its loyal fans. They have been notified by e-mail and received a form in which they were asked to express their choice by June 15. On the issue of donations, the director-general , Arnaud Puglia said on the club website, about the gifts :”We have, it’s not going to hide it, looked at what was being done elsewhere also. We know the passion and the generosity of our supporters, and we were obliged to propose this solution. At the club level, the money will be used through the various actions that we are carrying to the people and our territory, and our training. As to the generous donors, for those who wish, we arrange priority access to the ticket office for our future games ” gala “. Thus, they will have a few days of exclusive sales to come in and buy a 2-seater in addition to their subscription to our games against PSG, the OM or the LOSC. “

Subscribers 2019-2020 had until June 15th to return their form and make their choice between the three proposed options. All have not done so. But it seems that 20% have opted for the donation to the club. A significant figure according to Matthew Fourdrinier, secretary of the federation Lens United.” It is important to know that these donations will also benefit the territory, through social projects and entertainment incurred by the club. It is, therefore, a true commitment on the part of supporters who have made this step.”

The fans are now awaiting the opening of the next campaign, which will be very important with the return of Blood and Gold in league 1. A wish has been issued by the sections: if the first matches are limited in number, they prefer a closed total rather than a gauge to 5000 spectators. This would create problems of choice that are impossible to manage given the popularity that going to lead to the next season.

VAFC is waiting

The VAFC it shows more blur on the question of reimbursement. In a release by the end of the season, signed by the president Eddy Zdiech, may have simply read:”of course, 5 days of the championship could not take place in the Hainaut… The government ordinance N°2020-538 from 07 may 2020 provides for the possibility to the VAFC, to offer a credit to all of its customers, but also in a period of 3 months maximum, suggest different formulas for the use of this credit “.

Obviously, next to valenciennes, we prefer to “play the watch” before considering offsetting transactions financial. The attendance in League 2 is less important. The average at the stade du Hainaut was around 8,000 spectators, and approximately 3,000 subscribers in this season rather successful. But the ticketing is an important item in the budget of the VAFC, which is accomoderait gladly a gift to subscribers to boost its cash flow in this period of crisis.

But sections of fans are in uncertainty, due to lack of communication. The employees of the VAFC are still in part-time unemployment, hence the difficulty of having a direct contact, as explained by Maxime Lerat, Generation “Red and Black”:” usually, the month of June, this is the time where we will embark on our membership campaign, after a meeting with the sales department of the club, where we are informed of the rates and conditions of subscription. But there, nothing. The only information, it is the release of the club”.

The uncertainty on the number of matches that are open to the public, as well as the gauge (5000 spectators or more ?) prevents anticipate. Sections of fans are hoping that this big blur will be dispelled by 30 June, the target date for the passage before the national Directorate of management control (DNCG). The VAFC will have presented its proposed budget.

The war of influence Zdiech-Partouche around the control of the club could also play on the choice of the supporters valenciennois. Those in favour of the team in place could in effect make a gift of their having to support it financially. The other, on the contrary, could apply for this credit.

Therefore, the situation remains to be clarified in Valenciennes, where things are never that simple…


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