We have been recently following Italy’s Piacenza’s struggles to keep itself afloat after the end of their A1 season. Millionaire contracts aside, professional volleyball has a long way to go in terms of financial stability, and not even Italy’s mighty A1 league is safe from financial trouble. About two months ago, Piacenza‘s Honorary President Roberto Pighi made a public plea for sponsors and politicians to help out the team financially. Now, after hearing so many negative answers and having so many doors slammed at his face, it looks like he has all but given up (Sportpiacenza.it):
“After having had a negative reply from Taiwan Excellence, I decided to suspend the search for sponsors. We have to get at least two million euros and for now we have only slightly exceeded half of that amount, stopping at 1 million and 200 – 1 million and 300 thousand euros. The contacts have been many, but almost all ended in nothing, provoking great disappointments. Taiwan Excellence was the only one able to change the situation, but they weren’t able to come to a deal with us. This does not allow us to hope for a positive conclusion of the whole affair. I confirm and repeat what I have always said: I am willing to do my part and I can assure you that for my part, the economic commitment is very high. The door remains open, but I suspend my search definitively. In the last two months, despite continuous efforts, absolutely nothing has been done, we are still at the starting point.”
Once again, just like it did after Pighi’s initial plea’s, Piacenza‘s official fan club penned a lengthy letter to the city’s mayor. Reading it can make us feel just how important club volleyball is for some Italian communities (Gazzeta.it):
Last Saturday, our season ended. Not so long ago, it ended in a championship title for us, which gave us a lot of joy. What is certain is that volleyball has helped to give prestige to our city, which has always been considered the “cinderella” of the region, perhaps because of its unhappy geographical position, making it sometimes unjustly “snubbed”.
In the days when we hear more and more about the closing of our team, we hope for an intervention by the city’s administration, to prevent this excellence of our territory from extinguishing itself.
Obviously, we Volleyballs fans speak out of self-interest, but it could not be otherwise, given the passion we have for this wonderful sport. You will understand that everyone tends to “bring water to their own mill”, but we would like to ask a question: In your opinion, losing our team would help the city gain prestige and value or lose attractiveness?
It is clear that the moments connected to volleyball are also a social gathering place of great importance: entire families with children populate the Palabanca Arena, the youngsters find a moment of leisure, many people who are joined by this passion find themselves cheering in a small building for a healthy sport that has always taught the concepts of altruism, collaboration, complicity. and cooperation.
Volleyball is an uniting sport, where the champions, even the strongest in the world, alone, are useless. It is a sport where the team is the absolute value, because only the team allows you win or not. Quoting a great coach like Andrea Anastasi, “there is no one who can crush you if there is someone that can raise you.
We can not think that this administration has not noticed the social value that this sport has created in our city. And above all, we do not think that losing the team is a gold of anyone. For these very reasons we are writing this appeal, speaking to you in the first person and indirectly to the entire city. We are fully aware that the administration can not be financially responsible for the economic tasks that are due to those who want to try to invest in this sport, but at the same time we are aware that a further effort at the level of mediation is still possible. We believe we can still “move the waters”, make sure that our honorary president Roberto Pighi is not the only one attempting to raise the fortunes of our team. Let’s team up to not let a reality that has given us so much, vanish.”
UNTIL THE END OF PIACENZA, FORCE!
The Biancorossi Wolves”
(ITA) Piacenza’s President And Fans Make Plea To Sponsors