Europe 1 with AFP
4:00 p.m., September 22, 2022modified to
4:06 p.m., September 22, 2022
The Olympique de Marseille football club will have to pay rent of 6.5 million euros for the Vélodrome stadium for the 2022-2023 season for its fixed part, against five million euros previously, announced the City of Marseille Thursday. This is “the largest increase in the history” of the stadium, according to the town hall of the second city of France.
With the triggering of the variable part (depending on the attendance at the stadium), the town hall hopes that the rent paid by the Ligue 1 club, currently in the group stage of the Champions League, “could reach a total of nine million euros”, wrote the municipality to AFP, confirming information from the daily Provence.
“This is one of my very first political fights that materializes,” reacted the socialist mayor Benoît Payan, who has long denounced insufficient rent, in a press release. “The club president (Pablo Longoria, editor’s note), who loves the city, understood that OM also had a role to play in the face of the challenges ahead of us,” said Benoît Payan. OM did not comment on this announcement from the town hall of Marseille.
According to a report by the Regional Chamber of Accounts of November 2020, this rent should be eight million euros per year.
The question of the sale of the stadium
The renewable one-year agreement established between OM and the City of Marseille will be presented to the city council on September 30. Also questioned by Provence on the sale of the stadium, which he has always aspired to, Benoît Payan replies Thursday that he remains in favor of it “but only if it is at OM”, evoking “a common heritage”.
This operation, which he estimates at one billion euros, is not imminent according to him: “OM do not have them. If one day they have them, we will see”. The mayor has always denounced the public-private partnership established with the construction group Arema by his predecessor, LR Jean-Claude Gaudin, as “a financial mismanagement”.
This PPP links the city and Arema, a subsidiary of Bouygues, since 2015 and until 2045, following the renovation of the stadium for Euro-2016.
According to Provence, each year, and until 2045, the City of Marseille pays 12 million euros in royalties to Arema under the public-private partnership signed almost ten years ago. In the regional daily, the mayor of Marseille calculates that thus, “at nine million euros, there would be ‘only’ three more to clear the slate” annually.