Gard: deprived of help from Agglo, four women’s sports clubs do not give up, Franck Proust responds

After the open letter, other actions are planned by the leaders of four women’s sports associations.

No, they do not accept the abolition of their financial aid! Will the decision be made? Whatever: “lost for lost”The leaders of Bouillargues Handball Nîmes Métropole, Women’s Football Nîmes Métropole Gard, Volleyclub Nîmes and Nîmes Basket (1200 licensees in total) are determined to fight again outside regular time.

After the open letter to the mayors of the agglomeration, the leaders of these four women’s sports clubs now plan to multiply the actions, they said Monday evening during a press conference at the Agora de Bouillargues.

This is clearly discrimination against women’s sports

On the agenda: Alert their respective federations and the oversight ministry, the national media, local elected officials and the general public. And then a little “surprise stock”, also. †Because it is clearly discrimination against women’s sports, as support for certain male clubs is maintained”, the chairman of football Christian Taves does not flinch. † The long march for equality between men and women is being held back by political leaders who obviously don’t realize that we have to fight for this every day.”launches Jesus Araiz (Nîmes Basket).

For the record, after soaring for years (the most notable example: from €28,000 to €130,000 for the women’s hand club of Bouillargues, the BHNM), their subsidies from the metropolis of Nîmes halved in the past year, before their total disappearance. “oral” announced last March.

From below, the BHNM starts exactly a pennant team in the 2nd division and a reserve in the 4th division. It now has 14 employees (including six professional players). Annual budget: €600,000. “We had seasonal contracts, we built this with the Agglo to get there, indicates President Sylvain Maestrini, who is now preparing to cut his wage bill. What is happening is extremely brutal. In any case, it takes time.”

Franck Proust: ‘They don’t want to understand’

Why does Nîmes Métropole stop subsidizing these sports clubs?

You have to start the story from the beginning. When I arrived in July 2020, I was subpoenaed by the Prefect for a slew of complaints about the management of the community, most notably failing to hold on to his skills. On December 9, 2020, his deputy prefect formally reminded us by post that the Agglo, in the current state of our statutes, has no sports license. My predecessor had done illegal things…

But why is women’s sport being targeted these days?

But it’s not just about women’s sports! The football clubs of Chemin-Bas d’Avignon or Valdegour or the hand club of Marguerittes, for example, are also concerned… They understand the situation. The problem with the associations you mention is that they have become dependent on the community. It’s not my fault they lived beyond their means! We had three meetings with their leaders, they don’t want to understand. If we voted subsidies for it, it would be illegal. And the prefect would answer them anyway.

Other sports clubs, however, keep their subsidies…

Exactly, these are not subsidies but “markets for the purchase of spaces without competition”. With Nîmes and Usam, these envelopes are in line with their media coverage: these clubs are on TV every week, with the “Nîmes metropolis” logo marked. For the Nîmes Rugby club, it is a partnership in connection with its professional partner structure, which brings together many companies from the agglomeration.

What could be the solution then? An “extension” of the town hall?

But a municipality is not a printing press! And the City does not necessarily have budgetary leeway, certainly in the current context. We, we have proposed the women’s hand and football clubs to merge with the existing professional structures (NO and Usam, editor’s note)…