“The stadium, I want to sell it because it costs us too much money. I want to sell it because it is a financial mismanagement, ”launched Benoît Payan, the new mayor of Marseille, during an exchange on Facebook with Internet users.
A statement that comes as the club OM is going through a new crisis the day after the dismissal of Portuguese coach André Villas-Boas and after the violence and incidents committed by supporters at the training center. Suffice to say that this new release risks making new sparks in a city where everyone is deemed to love football.
” This is no longer possible “
For the mayor of Marseille, 15 million euros “went out of the pocket of Marseillaises and Marseillais for 30 years” for the Vélodrome. “It is no longer possible,” he explained, adding that he will not hesitate to sell it “if I find a buyer. And I will manage in the months, the years to come to find a buyer. “
The socialist mayor who took over the reins of the city at the end of September at the head of the left-wing coalition of the “Marseille Spring” after the resignation of the ecologist Michèle Rubirola, had already denounced when he was in the opposition the waste of the public money of the previous majority. “In terms of mismanagement, it is often through sport that the previous majority has fished, it is a bit the pandora’s box of missed investments”, had explained the elected, citing as an example the Velodrome stadium “whose bad financial negotiation cost us 93 million euros. “
Inaugurated in 1937, the Vélodrome, the second largest French stadium, is an institution in the city. A stadium that has undergone many works with a major renovation and a new roof in 2014 at a cost of 268 million euros. At the time, Benoît Payan also denounced the public-private partnership initiated by the right-wing municipality with the Arma consortium, pointing out a significant additional cost linked to “exorbitant financial costs”.
Not enough revenue
Beyond that, the shoe pin on the revenue side. The regional chamber of accounts had already estimated last November in a vitriolic report on the management of the municipality that the rent paid to the city by the Olympique de Marseille was too low.
According to the magistrates, the rent paid by OM would have to increase to 8 million euros per year, against 5 today, estimating that the city had paid 52.2 million euros in subsidies between 2012 and 2017.
It remains to be seen who might be interested in this stadium? The OM club, which has an annual budget of around 150 million euros per year? An investment fund whose objective will be to further monetize the site by increasing the number of events?
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr