Sunday, November 28

The high price of light lights up modest football



When walking the grassroots geography and from the lower categories, the response is repeated among the leaders of modest clubs when asked about the electricity bill and they show their relief when they recognize that they have an umbrella to deal with it. «In this football, most of the teams, I estimate that 90 percent, play for rent in municipal facilities, so it is the city councils, as in our case, those that assume the cost of electricity, as much as consumes in training as in games, “he explains Ernesto Salido, vice president of CD Alhaurino. Like this Malaga entity, many other mud soccer players know that without that mattress

They would have a headache to be able to face the increases in electricity rates that have been happening in Spain. Forecasts for the coming months continue to rise and yesterday there was a new historical record, 152.32 euros per megawatt hour, a very dark well for the budgets of those other clubs that do pay for electricity by having their stadiums under concession, which forces them to also face concepts such as water and gas, as well as the maintenance of the facilities. The electricity bill ignites fear and uncertainty in these teams, which in recent months have already been punished by the reduction of basic income such as the box office or the collection of the canteens due to the Covid.

“Of course we are concerned, although at the moment we have not noticed a significant variation in the bill because the days are long in summer and in training we still do not throw much of the lights. But we are concerned about what may come to us when there are fewer hours of sun, “he acknowledges. Gonzalo Llano, president of Veriña CF, a youth soccer club in Gijón, where the City Council, unlike other municipalities, does not assume the light of any team. «Here all the grassroots football clubs, and even those of the Third Division, play and train in municipal fields in concession regime, so we take care of the maintenance. We also pay for electricity and water ». Last season, the Veriña paid 5,716 euros just for electricity, this course already has 3,366 euros and now the most difficult months are coming. For this reason, Llano looks suspiciously to the future. “In September we turn on the lights one hour a day, but in October we will really begin to notice the increase in the price of the bill because, with the time change, we will turn on an average of five or six hours a day throughout the week” .

In Madrid there are teams, like the EF Concepción, who rent the facilities and it is the City Council that takes care of all the expenses, but other clubs, such as ED MoratalazThey have the concession of the field and must bear the maintenance costs. “We have a municipal concession for which we pay 75,000 euros and we have to pay electricity regardless of that amount. We have already begun to notice the rise in the bill, although the serious problem will be if this lasts because the worst months are always those of winter “, he analyzes Jesús Recio, one of the team managers Morataleño.

The Tenisca Canario, an atypical case in this football, owns the Virgen de las Nieves and pays all the expenses of its stadium, as well as Racing Portuense, a group from Cádiz settled in El Puerto de Santa María that obtained the concession of the municipal stadium for a period of 50 years. Jesús Rodríguez is its president and shows ABC his fear for the price of electricity to continue increasing. He calculates 40% the increase that his club will suffer in the electricity bill because they have just increased the power of the spotlights on the field. “In some fields they prefer to use a diesel generator than hooking up to the grid, it is much cheaper for them,” says the Andalusian leader. “One way to save money would be to change the bulbs and use LED lights, which consume less, but we would have to pay for it because the Gijón City Council does not carry out this type of maintenance work,” explains Gonzalo Llano.

On Antequera CF, the senior team trains in the morning and does not shoot spotlights, but their base teams do. “It would be very interesting for the Government to draw up a plan for the energy efficiency of municipal sports facilities, a plan that would allow city councils to take advantage of it to undertake light improvements and their migration to low consumption,” he explains. Ángel González, president of the Malaga club. Accustomed to hardships and difficulties, in modest football solidarity reigns and clubs like Athletic Tordesillas (Valladolid), despite the fact that the City Council pays its bill, it is aware of the effort it entails for the municipal coffers, “so we are trying to implement measures in the field to save both electricity and water,” he explains Marcos Pérez, his vice president. A nice example to follow.

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