A war of words appears to be developing between the town’s football club and the Council with regards to measures being enforced at the municipal football stadium as part of the fight against the spread of COVID-19 disease.
After the club published its dissatisfaction with the Council’s decisions to apply certain measures on the club, including restrictions on attendance at match-days and the enforced closure of the club bar, the Department of Sports responded by reminding the club that the Council’s commitment includes a 117,000€ grant and free use of the municipal football stadium.
The football club has hit back, expressing their surprise with the arguments presented by the Council which they consider “go beyond the issue in question” and should not have been raised in response to the club’s unhappiness at the protocols imposed on it. They said that they expected “a more coherent and constructive response” to the problem, rather than one that they consider to come across as “confrontational”.
They added that their original communique reflected the general opinions of players, coaches, family members and all people related to the club including its supporters, at all levels of the game.
Thus, since certain issues have been raised in the municipal response, the football club has felt obliged to further explain its relationship with the municipal council in terms of funding.
Firstly, the annual budget of CD Jávea is more than 255,000 euros, more than double the funding provided by the Council which amounts to 117,000 euros. Simple mathematics shows that there is a difference of some 138,000 euros which is raised through club sponsorship, Academy fees, company collaborations, annual social memberships, national lotteries and the income at the club bar, etc.
The municipal grant is not specifically for the Academy, as suggested in the Department of Sports response, for the current agreement between the football club and the Council confirms that the economic contribution is for the entire club, from the Academy right up to the Senior Team. The club has 17 teams and 275 registered players as well as coaching and administrative staff, etc. whilst the ten people who sit of the board of directors of CD Jávea do not receive any remuneration for the work which they do.
The Football Ground
The club freely admitted that it is true that CD Jávea enjoys the facilities of the municipal football ground for free and that the Council picks up the bills for electricity, water and heating as well as provide cleaning and maintenance staff.
However, the football club feels that it doesn’t receive any favourable treatment or privilege since other clubs and associations in the town have been able to use the public facilities under the same conditions.
The COVID-19 Debate
Returning to the fundamental topic of the debate, the football club repeated its original claims and proposals made to the Department of Sports which would allow it to comply with the provisions set out by the health authorities to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Given the characteristics of the municipal football ground with regards to being an open space with large dimensions and capacity, etc. and the recommendations of the FFCV (the Valencian Regional Football Federation) that would allow up to 75% of capacity of the ground to be open to the public, the football club still made proposals that were more restrictive.
These included the following:
- That only the child player’s parents would be permitted for matches featuring the Academy teams from Querubín to Cadete level. The club responded that it was false that the restriction of only 8 people per game came from them and remained unsure how the Department of Sports based its claim or whether a technical report was published which made this capacity limitation essential.
- For the two Juvenil teams, the maximum attendance will be 50 people per game.
- For the reserve side, there will be a maximum of 100 people per game.
- For the Senior team, the capacity will be set at 200 people per games.
Once the matches have finished, all spectators will be asked, by public address system, to leave the stadium immediately so that those wanting to attend any following game will be able to enter. Access and exit would be through different gates to avoid congestion and the appropriate health measures will be required, including the wearing of face masks, the use of hydroalcoholic gel at the entrances and minimum interpersonal distances maintained.
The Sticking Points
The club claims that the decision of the Department of Sports to limit the capacity of junior matches at the municipal football ground to 8 people is in danger of causing surreal situations, for example when the parents of a young player cannot attend a game in Jávea but will be able to do so the following week when the team plays away from home where public attendance is allowed, based on more reasonable criteria and following all established health protocols.
With regards to the use of the changing rooms, the football club made a proposal to continue using them, taking all the necessary measures with regards to limiting access and frequency of cleaning and disinfection, etc. but the response from the Council was that sufficient human resources would not be available to carry out such tasks.
The football club feels that the same criteria applied to the rest of the bars in the town should be applied to the club bar in the football ground so they call on the councillor of sports to provide an explanation on why it has been decided to close the bar completely whilst others in the town remain open.
The club explained that its original statement was motivated by the comparative offence it felt it was being subjected to with respect to other recreational, cultural and sporting activities in the town, for which different measures have been taken which are more benevolent with regards to public attendance.
The follow-up statement issued by CD Jávea concluded by stating that, as a representative of more than 300 players, coaches, parents and fans, they aren’t pursuing any kind of controversy or confrontation with the Council and thanked it for its continued support and collaboration with the football club which is critical to its success.
However, it does seem that there is a need for further discussion, certainly before the senior season begins on October 18th.