Reggiana are being ‘extorted’ by Sassuolo after ‘stadium rent doubled’
Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Mike Piazza has been building something impressive in Italian football, but is demanding ‘fairness’ from stadium owners Sassuolo.
Some important backstory; Sassuolo and Reggiana play in Reggio Emilia, although the former has only started playing there when they won promotion to Serie A in 2014. Previously, the ground was called the Stadio Tricolore before being bought out by Giorgio Squinzi, the owner of construction giants MAPEI, from the city. Afterwards, the stadium was renovated and renamed MAPEI Stadium. Reggiana have been forced to become “refugees in their own home” after essentially being evicted by the new stadium owners.
The Piazza family, of Sicilian origins from Sciacca, Agrigento, bought the club for ‘a good price’, and inherited the club’s debts, which he insists he has paid off.
The club released a presser on Tuesday to clarify several points.
Reggio Emilia- “Reggiana Calcio announces that it does not to continue to be in limbo from third parties without having the possibility to build a stable future for the long term. After having dedicated a lot of attention to the media in regards to the stadium, [Reggiana] intends to make the following points.
A.C. Reggiana 1919 S.p.A. did not have as of today the possibility to train at the stadium or even behind close doors. We havee been assured that the use of the stadium is only for official matches having the possibility of only using them on the days of official matches.
Starting from June 2016, which is when the Piazza Family acquired the majority ownership of Reggiana Calcio, the holding company of the stadium has doubled the cost of the rent to use it. Reggiana Calcio reiterates that it is forced to pay over €230,000 for the use of the stadium for home matches, which when added to the cost of rent results in a much higher fee.
A.C. Reggiana 1919 S.p.A. as of today, has never received a timely and precise report related to the costs and services [of running the stadium] and has never been allowed to view them.Today, Reggiana Calcio is in a suffering position because of this.
We have decided to explain this to the public and with maximum transparency these concepts, reaffirming the current rent contract has many disadvantages for the club itself and that these are negatively reflected on the balance sheet that must be corrected.
We firmly believe that our priority must be concentrating on what happens on the playing field and to guarantee a secure and stable future for the club, supported by the entire city.”
Currently, Reggiana are fighting for promotion to Serie B and are currently in a comfortable seeded spot for the promotion playoffs in Serie C.