The essential Philippe Dallard, the strong man of Toulouse handball, is delighted with the announced return of the public to sports arenas. A saving return to Fenix in the heart of an exciting end to the season. Until the beginning of June, the end of the championship, players can perform three times in front of their supporters.
A HEU-REUX president. On Thursday April 29th, Philippe Dallard, President of Fenix Handball Toulouse, changed the season end. Yes, the public will be authorized to refill the bays of the André-Brouat Sports Palace from May 19th, subject to certain conditions.
The Fenix is particularly concerned as there could be three meetings with the public at home by the end of the season: Toulouse – Chartres, the weekend of May 21; Toulouse – Montpellier on the weekend of June 1st; and Toulouse – Ivry on the weekend of June 4th.
Enthusiasm, even excitement. Philippe Dallard tells us ..
You attended a meeting with the presidents of the other Starligue clubs this Friday at noon. What did it come from?
First information comes to us sparingly. The Ministry of Sports announced to us this morning a reopening of the rooms from May 19th with a strength of 35% of the potential, maximum 800 people. Our room has a capacity of 4,000 people, so we will stand on the threshold of these 800 people.
We imagine that you are satisfied to be able to welcome the audience again at the end of the season. How did you get this message?
We didn’t see them arrive! We got used to ending the season behind closed doors. That’s why we received it with great pleasure. There has been real frustration for months. It is very good first of all for the club, the competition, the players, but also the fans and the general public who can finally return to support their favorite club. It is also the meaning of a new life that awaits us, with a return to normality that we have long hoped for.
“The health passport will be difficult to set up”
Especially since there is one important point for the Fenix: You can still hang up a European qualification …
The three home games will count, I hope we will be in the game. When things go well, our season end can be exceptional. So if we can share it with the public and their passion … This year some of our games have been performing badly in the last few moments and we sometimes think that there was an audience that it had to go the other way can turn.
In order to gain access to the room, viewers must provide a health pass to prove that they are not carriers of the virus. What do you think of this measure, which was announced from June 9th?
I don’t think there will be a health pass for us by the end of the season. I have no problem with this principle, but how do I check who has been vaccinated? Who wasn’t I think it can get unconstitutional. I think it will be difficult for handball to set up at the end of the season. We might be concerned after football and rugby from September, if that principle were to apply before then.
There is also the issue of curfew. The three home meetings we are talking about should begin at 7 or 8 p.m. A little late for everyone to be home by 9 p.m. (curfew from May 19, 11 p.m. from June 9). Are you going to ask to play earlier?
As of today, discussions must be held with the broadcast media (including beIN Sport, editor’s note). We have to start the meetings at 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
“A real bulimia of ours” shoots “optimism” again
Is that public return a financial relief?
No. Quite simply, we provide a reasonable service. The 800 people will be a lot of partners, annual subscribers … There will be no cash flow.
What is the financial situation of the club financially?
I have not quantified the deficit. At the moment we’re going to zero on the ticketing side. On the partner side we will do between -30 and -40%. We lost a lot of money on our trip to the European Cup at the beginning of the season. The concern that it’s more about the next season. This year we have the support and the lack of cost to organize the game.
Has the club been excited since Emmanuel Macron’s announcement? Everything is accelerating to greet the public? Tell us …
I was in a meeting this morning, I’m moving on to another. The teams are at work, they are super motivated. The public, our customers, to see the sharing is still great! We have to share again every day. But be careful, we’ve also learned not to get carried away too quickly. Let’s wait for details from the authorities.
The club is coming back to life in a way …
The nice days are coming, the vaccination is here, the terraces, the cultivation, everything will be opened again. We were resilient, we accepted everything for a year. Tomorrow life will be good and we will be in the history books. Savings too! It will be a good master’s topic, “How Can an Economy Work During a Pandemic?” (Laughs) But now it’s time to stop it. We have a real bulimia to “shoot again” with optimism.