With the victory in Chalon-sur-Saône last Friday, Saint-Chamond took a big step towards the rise of Betclic ELITE. Indeed, the Ligériens now have 3 wins ahead of Nancy (who played one game less) and Elan Chalon. With 8 laps to go, Alain Thinet’s group is thus on track to finish first in the division, which will enable them to advance to the next level. An increase that the club will of course accept, especially as they have a recognized training center since June 30, 2021 and will enter a new 4,200-seat Arena. If the site is huge to get to the level of the structures of the highest French level, the leaders do not leave defeaters.
“I think it was the same logic when we arrived in Pro B, we had the 16th or 17th budget and today 7 years later it is a matter of evolving at the highest level, recalls the chairman of the SCBVG France Blue Saint-Etienne Loire† And we’re still alive. We will do everything we can to try to have a correct budget. It will not be easy, but the leaders will in any case never refuse a sporty climb. It would be too frustrating for them, for everyone else. And we will after that make every effort to try to prepare an operational budget for the higher level, knowing that you will understand that our budget will not be that of ASVEL or Monaco, but rather the latter. And afterwards everyone should also understand that it is a challenge. It is not a long calm river.”
With a current budget of 2.1 million euros, Saint-Chamond could not survive long in Betclic ELITE. The club plans to increase this to 3.5 million euros for the 2022-2023 season. The local authorities will no doubt increase their subsidies, the Arena will allow for new revenues and new sponsors could come.
“There are national partners who might be able to join us, Roger Paour announces. The goal is to find other partners and if there is an increase there will be matches on television. Especially in our region this will be attractive with derbies with ASVEL and Roanne and posters with Monaco, Paris. It will be really new for everyone in the metropolis of Saint-Etienne.”
The gap at the front of the Pro B had the merit that the Saint-Chamond leaders could anticipate this climb.