“It’s annoying, you feel like you’re being cut off when you were very good in the league.” When Enzo Camps, goalkeeper of MDA Chasselay, National 2 boarding club, evokes the interruption of competitions and his first days without training due to confinement, impossible for him not to think of the rise in National which was pointing his nose in this end of season. But quickly, the young 22-year-old doorman recalls the priority of the moment: “There is so much concern about the health situation that you put it all in the background.“
The Covid-19 epidemic in the country forced all amateur clubs, like many companies in France and professional clubs, to temporarily cease their activities. While they should be impacted in the coming months by the interruption of competitions, amateur players will also suffer from the lack of matches in the coming weeks. Physically, of course, even if everyone has to follow a physical fitness program transmitted by their club. But financially, above all.
Part of amateur players on partial unemployment
At the amateur level, some players have so-called “federal” contracts. “They are generally reserved for executives, like former professional players“explains Enzo Camps. Like professional clubs, a large proportion of amateur clubs have placed these federal contracts on partial unemployment. For the players concerned, who represent a minority among amateurs, the loss is not considerable: like employees in other sectors placed on partial unemployment, they will receive 70% of their gross salary, paid by the State.
But amateur players are not fortunate enough to have all these types of contracts. The vast majority of them are remunerated via bonuses: victory, draws or qualification for this or that round of the Coupe de France for example. With the interruption of competitions, this is where financial difficulties can arise.
“It will hurt me a lot financially”
“Like all club presidents, I explain to my players that these bonuses represent only additional income, Explain François Jacob, president of Blois Football 41, club of N2. But I fear that some people only rely on it to live“. Matthew Dario, defender of the Stade Bordelais in N2, has integrated the board: “I am a supervisor in a boarding school next to football, so I am not too worried“But at 22, the player trained at OGC Nice does not have the same constraints as some of his teammates:”Financially, that should be fine for me, but there are fathers of families for whom this additional income is essential.“
This is the case of Mickaël Darnet, attacker of AS Cannes in N3 and physical trainer by trade, for whom the interruption of matches and therefore bonuses represents a considerable shortfall: “I have a budget to keep, with a wife and two children, and in my personal situation, it will hurt me a lot financially“Faced with these difficulties which could affect many amateur players, François Jacob, the president of Blois, wonders:”What sauce will these players be eaten in? Will they be compensated?“
Finding the land becomes essential
As players try to follow physical programs carefully, because “the most serious team will pick up the best“According to Enzo Camps, the question still arises as to when the competition will resume.”I find it complicated to continue the season, judge Pierre Ducasse, midfielder of the Stade Bordelais and champion of France 2009 with the Girondins de Bordeaux. I think we have to skip this season: if we finish in July, we will scuttle two seasons since the next starts in August and we prepare it in July.“
But for some players whose financial difficulties will accumulate as the matches become scarce, the main thing is to resume competition as soon as possible to again receive this additional income based on bonuses for wins or draws. Rediscover the land for money, but also and above all for passion, as Enzo Camps points out: “We’re just looking forward to being able to resume. When you play football every day, and suddenly it stops, it's very strange.“