Italy: Can Palermo afford to use Stadio Renzo Barbera?

source: Palermo.Repubblica.it / StadioNews.it

Italy: Can Palermo afford to use Stadio Renzo Barbera? After last year's collapse and rebirth, football in Palermo seems to be getting back on its feet. Promotion to Serie C was awarded but... can the new club cover proposed price of using the stadium?

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Last year's collapse of US Palermo shook not just Sicily but also all of Italian football. The club went down to the amateur fourth league, Serie D, and had to start from scratch as SSD Palermo. At that level no new agreement was signed for the use of Stadio Renzo Barbera.

During the recent season, brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rosaneri club got promoted to Serie C and is on track to rebuild its former glory in the medium term. However, in order to play in Serie C, a new agreement guaranteeing the use of a compliant stadium has to be signed. And it hasn't been so far.

Stadio Renzo Barbera© Leonardo Gargano

The club has to agree with the city but for the time being it seems the city cannot really agree internally, what conditions should be proposed. There are tensions and disagreements as to how much SSD Palermo would be expected to pay.

Ironically, the club hasn't yet been approached for talks, the first draft was created without its input. And that's a problem because it has been presumed that SSD Palermo (with annual budget of €3 million) will pay as much as US Palermo (with €50 million) used to pay.

That would be €341,000 annually, plus turnover tax and participation in maintenance cost. By comparison, comparable club (by league and stadium size) from Messina is paying €5,000 annually for their stadium usage.

It seems the situation should be resolved, but recent days have been intense. For SSD Palermo the best scenario would involve a deal with provisions conditioning fees on performances of the club, especially the league in which it's playing.

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