If he does not lose against Pyunik and reaches the 3rd round of the C1 on Tuesday, the F91 is guaranteed to join the group stages of one of the three UEFA competitions. Bank!
The end of financial problems, is it for Tuesday? Jean-Paul Espen, one of the members of the dudelangeois committee most familiar with the system of reversion of UEFA bonuses in the various European Cups is convinced of it, to pass the obstacle of Pyunik Yerevan (0-1 to the outward journey, in Armenia), it is “the assurance of cleaning up the finances. And even to be able to make reserves for the long term. It is important”.
A few months ago, the audit firm which monitored the accounts of Dudelange within the framework of the granting of the UEFA license stipulated that European qualification was almost imperative for the perpetuation of the activity and that passing at least one round was advised. The former right winger Kevin Van den Kerkhof, today in Bastia, remembers it quite well, of this sword of Damocles suspended above the group: “We were not put under pressure, but we knew very well that it was very important. During the last campaign (Editor’s note: elimination on 1er round of the C3 against the Irish Bohemians, 4-0 over the two matches), we already knew that it would have done them a lot of good to take the opportunity to bail out the coffers. They were really counting on that. But there… There, they are already sure to have taken a nice check! And they could also attract a lot of sponsors and partners.”
For the time being, the dudelangeois check breaks down as follows: 100,000 euros for each round played, together with 750,000 euros from the solidarity fund and 260,000 euros from the champion’s bonus. Since, since qualifying on 1er round against Tirana, Carlos Fangueiro and his guys are sure that they will play at least four rounds, the total amounts to at least 1,410,000 in income. That’s the worst case scenario. The one who purges the debts of the club.
It’s 500,000 euros the victory in C4
But eliminating Yerevan would allow a change of gear since then Dudelange would, at least, make the group stage of the Conference League. The endowment then makes it possible to… double the total. UEFA announced a bonus (paid in large part upon qualification) of 2.94 million euros. And even if the champion’s bonus (260,000 euros) and the solidarity fund (750,000) are then no longer taken into account, there is no doubt that Gerry Schintgen and his committee will sweat profusely on Tuesday. Because even with the prospect of having to loosen the purse strings again to organize six more matches this fall in what would be the club’s third group stage (after the Europa League in 2018 and 2019), the fallout would be considerable for the Luxembourg champion.
Judge for yourself: in C4, the victory bonus is at 500,000 euros and the draw at 166,000 euros and one would swear that this F91, the one who has completely mastered his matches since the beginning of July, could glean a few points there. But that’s if he doesn’t land in the Europa League! Because then, the entry ticket is at 3.6 million euros and the bonuses at 630,000 (victory) and 210,000 euros (draw).
Renting the big stadium costs five times more
“The most likely is still to end up in C4”, admits for the time being Jean-Paul Espen, who does not however hide his excitement. “Because if we pass this round, then we have the assurance that we will have something substantial left. Even if, from experience, we know that there are always problems, such as redoing the lawn (Editor’s note: in 2018, it was necessary to pay several hundred thousand euros at the request of UEFA to replace the lawn of the Barthel).» From his previous experiences, the F91 also remembers having had to afford a heating cover for 38,000 euros, the following year, before Seville, which he sold moreover at a knockdown price to the FLF a little more late.
Cost, for now, is mostly what the F91 has. To go to Yerevan, he also dropped 180,000 euros for his flight, plus around 50,000 for the hotel. “At the moment, on this 2e round against Pyunik, we are in deficit, ”smiles Espen. “But it could pay off big.” However, there will still be large items of expenditure to consider since from the next round, whether the F91 remains in the Champions League or switches to the Europa League, it will now have to play at the Stade de Luxembourg. Renting the Barthel previously cost less than 4,000 euros per game. At the Cloche d’or, we are on prices almost five times higher. Which vary between 15,000 and 20,000 euros depending on the number of rooms necessary for the needs of the tenant club. The RFCU yesterday was in the low range with few spectators and only 10,000 euros in additional security costs. The invoice could be saltier in hens, but one would swear that the F91 will then make fun of it completely.