SOA basketball returns
to amateur status

The SOA Basketball motto is "un club en marche", a club progressing, but on the 27 September 2012 Sports Ouvriers Armentiérois Basket (SO Armentières) closed its doors to professional basketball.

Veuillez trouver en bas du page le communiqué de SO Armentières concernant leur raison de quitter la ligue féminine 2.

The organisation has released all its players because of an outstanding debt of 180 000 Euro in back taxes.

With Armentières being situated in a hot spot of elite basketball and handball teams that are all chasing the same sponsors as well as local government grants and subventions.

Despite the various hand-outs each club must have a solid sponsorship programme to survive.

While SOA Basketball was playing in the old NF2 (Division 3), their amateur structure and its funding worked.

Within two years of entering NF1 (Division 2) they made it first time to a final four appearance in 2008 and then the year after they won promotion to the LFB in 2009.

During this rise, the club moved away from its amateur structure to a professional first team and a youth academy that cost a lot of money to maintain.


SO Armentières team picture from the Open 200

However it was the promotion to the LFB for the 2009-2010 season leading to the club's present financial difficulties. SOA Basketball then attracted many sponsors during the one season in the elite but once relegated, some sponsors pulled out, grants were reduced and the supporters also disappeared. With also a heavy wage bill due to signing a few players on a two-year contract, Armentières started falling into debt.

Without cutting their costs earlier the club was forced in making a formal announcement about them withdrawing their professional team after signing three new players Sabrine Bouzzena, Sarra Ouerghi and Laury Aulnette. In addition Perrine Demets who had been playing volleyball had also decided to make a return to basketball.

These five players who had been under contract are since looking for a new club: Hélèna Akmouche, Rachel Goutière, Maïwenn Catrix, Valérie Labbé and Anda Nedovic.

The SOA Basketball continue its activities in Amateur basketball but need to find a new motto.

With this withdrawal the LF2 championship is down to 12 teams for 2012-13 after Voiron had not been able to raise the sponsorship for this season after losing their local grant.

SO Armentières 2009 NF1 Champions of Franc

LA SECTION BASKET DES SOA, MISE EN REDRESSEMENT, QUITTE LE BASKET PROFESSIONNEL FEMININ.

Cela n'était plus un secret mais depuis la montée historique en LFB en 2009 puis la descente en Ligue 2 l'année suivante, les SOA traînaient un déficit de l'ordre de 180000 € composé pour l'essentiel de cotisations dues à l'URSSAF et diverses caisses sociales.

Au cours de la récente assemblée de section, les dirigeants espéraient encore une issue favorable mais leur espoir s'est envolé avec le refus définitif du partenaire financier d'octroyer un prêt de restructuration, pourtant garanti par la ville, qui aurait permis d'établir un moratoire en accord avec les créanciers privilégiés.

Lors d'une réunion extraordinaire du Comité de Direction, il a donc été décidé, non sans regret, de désengager l'équipe de Ligue 2 avant que ne commence le championnat de France, ceci afin d'offrir aux joueuses la possibilité d'un éventuel recrutement en cours de saison. Cette décision permettra avant tout aux quelques 250 licenciés amateurs que compte la section de pratiquer sereinement leur sport. Elle a été portée à la connaissance de Monsieur le Maire qui n'a pu que l'approuver.

Force est de constater que le basket féminin malgré une équipe de France Vice-Championne olympique subit de plein fouet la crise. En LF2 l'équipe d'Armentières après L'Etoile de Voiron est donc la 2ème équipe cette saison à disparaître du haut niveau pour des raisons purement économiques.

Une page se tourne…Tous les espoirs du club de remonter au plus haut niveau du basket féminin reposent désormais sur les jeunes joueuses de son Centre de Formation évoluant cette saison en Nationale 3, Cadettes France et Minimes France.

Les dirigeants tiennent à remercier l'ensemble des bénévoles, les entraîneurs et la municipalité pour leur soutien. Forts de l'expérience acquise ces trois dernières années, ils souhaitent avec leur aide poursuivre l'aventure des Sports Ouvriers Armentiérois Basket dans le respect de valeurs éducatives et de solidarité.


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picture credits for SOA Basketball:
womensbasketball-in-france.com

Date created: 27.09.2012

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