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FC Sochaux – Towards a hybrid pitch in Bonal this summer?

This is the hot topic of the moment at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard.The pitch at the Bonal stadium, which has been in a catastrophic state for the past few matches, is the focus of all the tension and attention of the Sochal club’s players.Omar Daf is sorry not to be able to take advantage of a working tool worthy of the name, a real brake, according to the coach, on the ambitions of the yellows and blues this season.The management of the club, aware of the problem, has just seized the file in order to find a solution as soon as possible.

As a first step, the FCSM announced on Monday that it will “scalp and replace” the damaged turf, starting in early 2020.The work is scheduled to take place between the receptions of Paris FC on 10 January and that of Lorient on 31 January.This is an emergency response.But the big job could be next summer, the club would consider switching to a hybrid turf.However, the question of its financing arises.

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A change in January became a priority

Samuel Laurent was the guest of Club Sochaux this Monday on France Bleu Belfort-Montbéliard.The Executive Director of the CFSH confirmed the information you were being given as early as Friday evening.The club decides not to wait any longer to replace its degraded lawn.”It’s a must, we can’t play on this lawn anymore…It’s a legacy of the lack of maintenance over the previous years, it’s been living badly for several seasons” ex_plied the leader who added that “there was unnecessary pressure, because it made sense, so we did things as quickly as possible, at best, just it’s a lot of money (about 220 thousand euros according to Samuel Laurent).First we tried to stop the club’s financial haemorrhage when we arrived, and now that our accounts are in the green, we can afford to take care of our infrastructure”.Samuel Laurent still insists on this repositioning in January 2020: “If we were 15th or 16th in the ranking, it would be a shame, but we can’t continue to play on a pitch that’s deteriorating, and above all that could cause us to lose extremely precious points, which could lead us, perhaps, I say perhaps, to the play-offs, so it would be a real shame today to deprive ourselves of this chance.

Before choosing a hybrid lawn this summer?

The FCSM is therefore in a hurry with this facelift in January, but the club is already thinking about a more permanent solution with a hybrid turf, in other words, half natural, half artificial.In short, it is an “all-weather” lawn that never gets damaged.The idea has been launched, Samuel Laurent confirmed to us in the Club Sochaux “We have already talked with specialist companies, and next summer, installing a hybrid lawn in Bonal is quite feasible.It is possible to do it during the summer off-season, _it is possible, but the problem is the financing of such a project”, says the Executive Director of the Sochalian Club.

“Discussions for a financial contribution are already underway with the club” – Christophe Froppier, Vice-President in charge of sports at Pays de Montbéliard Agglomération

And the financing is sizeable “A hybrid lawn is more than a million euros, or we have to finc one in second hand, but it’s not so easy” according to Samuel Laurent. OrThe club can cover part of its financing, but needs a contribution from the local community.Pays de Montbéliard Agglomération and Christophe Froppier, its vice-president in charge of sports, says he is open to discussion, as he told Club Sochaux “We are paying 80 thousand euros with our convention for the maintenance of the lawn, and we are financing the work related to the infrastructures of the Bonal stadium.Nearly 180 thousand euros will be allocated for the work on the Bonal stadium for next year.So afterwards, nothing prevents us from getting round the table and taking a collective decision, at the level of the public authorities, so that we can finally have a lawn worthy of Bonal”.According to Samuel Laurent, the Burgundy Franche-Comté region would not wish to provide financial support for work on the Bonal stadium.

“Nenking will own the FCSM in 2020” – Samuel Laurent, Executive Director of the FCSM in Club Sochaux

In this last Club Sochaux of the year 2019, Samuel Laurent also gives an update on the transfer of ownership between Tech Pro and Nenking for the acquisition of the FCSM “Tech Pro will be delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on January 31, 2020.From then on, we find ourselves in a much simpler configuration to enforce our pledge on Ledus Group.Ledus Group is a subsidiary of Tech Pro which owns Ledus Club which in turn owns the FCSM.So it’ll take a few months for Nenking to get Ledus Group, therefore Ledus Club, and therefore the FCSM at 100%.”

Finally, the Sochalian Executive Director General points out that it will no longer be useful to “go through very complicated audits and stock exchange operations in Hong Kong.From then on, the payroll framework will be lifted, and the sports project can be set up for the 2020-21 season, therefore with top players”.As the vow period approaches, Sochalian supporters hope that Samuel Laurent’s wishes will be granted.