For the Panthers of Fleury-les-Aubrais, the future looks very compromised. This women’s handball club (D2) with a very good track record was refused an exceptional grant of 100,000 euros which could have helped it resolve the serious financial crisis in which it has been struggling for many months.
During the last metropolitan council, Serge Grouard, mayor (LR) of Orléans and president of the metropolis, received the debt at 763,000 euros and judged that at this stage there was no prospect of recovery for the club. “Paying the subsidy would amount to paying 100,000 euros in lost funds,” he argued, before calling on his colleagues to vote against the text.
“The metropolis, through the voice of its president, has put a whole club on the ground”, reacted the mayor of Fleury-les-Aubrais, the socialist Carole Canette who denounces “false assertions and functional approximations (…) maintained for make believe that the Panthers were, in any case, doomed”.
The club, which disputes the figures put forward by the mayor of Orléans, now finds itself unable to initiate the clearance of its liabilities. His recovery plan had indeed been validated provided he obtained this subsidy.
After having been familiar with the heights and garnering numerous trophies from 2014 – Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, Championship of France – the Panthers have descended to D2 this year.
Their season now risks ending prematurely, in the legal field, with a bankruptcy filing before the commercial court and a sports relegation to National 1.