Within the framework of an agreement tying it to the Canton and the City of Geneva, Servette FC first team will be able to train at Vessy sports centre as soon as a new pitch is made available to it at the site, scheduled for summer 2024. This temporary solution has been made necessary by the needs of the club, which currently has no fixed training ground, and the legal obligation of the Canton to provide the club with an appropriate infrastructure for both its matches and its preparation.
For a number of years, Servette FC has been in search of a permanent solution for the training sessions of its professional first team, which has played in the Super League (Swiss first division) for the past three years. Until now, the first division side has trained at several locations spread across the entire canton, without being able to adopt a long-term schedule. Since the end of 2019, the Canton, bound by its legal obligations resulting from the division of tasks act (LRT-3), has been working on identifying temporary solutions to host Servette FC Association and the academy, planned for les Evaux sports centre, and to host the first team. This procedure has been undertaken following the result of the referendum, held in November 2019, rejecting the draft legislation aimed at modifying the zone relating to the football centre at the Pré-du-Stand site and awaiting the completion of a permanent football centre capable of hosting both the elite team and Servette FC Association.
It is against this backdrop that Servette FC, the Canton and the City of Geneva have, since June 2020, been studying the possibility of installing a natural grass pitch at Vessy sports centre, which belongs to the City of Geneva, dedicated exclusively to Servette FC first team. While pursuing its efforts with a view to creating a permanent football centre, but fully aware that this will take a certain amount of time, the Canton has agreed to fund, to a tune of 8 million francs, the investment necessary to develop this new pitch (T3, cf. plan on the State of Geneva website), while the City of Geneva has agreed to make the land necessary for this project available to Servette FC free of charge.
A solution taking the environmental impact into account
In light of the constraints involved in using Vessy sports centre, and with a view to maintaining the same capacities of use for the municipal clubs of the City of Geneva, the Canton has also agreed to fund the transformation of an existing natural grass pitch (T5) into a synthetic pitch (new T4) and the creation of a new synthetic pitch (new T5), both of which are intended for the clubs of the City of Geneva. These new synthetic pitches will enable the City to offer the 50 football teams that call Vessy home almost 60 additional hours of use.
Satisfied at finding a pragmatic solution that can quickly be put into practice and attentive to both the environmental impact and the associated disturbances, the cantonal authorities, represented by State Councillor Thierry Apothéloz, the City of Geneva, represented by the Mayor of Geneva Marie Barbey-Chappuis, and Servette FC, represented by Pascal Besnard, have signed a memorandum of agreement relating to the temporary hosting of Servette FC first team at Vessy sports centre. The aim of this agreement is to define the principles which will be applicable throughout the project, from the planning stage through its completion and use to the departure of Servette FC from the Vessy site.
“Having quickly found a solution, the Canton will be able to respect its legal commitments while demonstrating its attachment to ensuring suitable training conditions for a professional team which promotes the image of Geneva throughout Switzerland,” states Thierry Apothéloz, State Councillor responsible for Social Cohesion.
For a period of 10 years
Furthermore, within the framework of this development, the City of Geneva is planning the subsequent installation of an additional grass football pitch (new T6) as part of its sports infrastructures blueprint.
“We are delighted to have found a solution that meets the needs of both the professional footballers and the amateur clubs thanks to the construction of additional pitches while continuing to modernise our sports infrastructures,” stresses the Mayor of Geneva, Marie Barbey-Chappuis. “Thanks to an intense collaboration with the State of Geneva, a solution has been found which is a win-win situation for all parties involved, and in particular for the sport as a whole,” says Frédérique Perler, Executive Councillor responsible for the Department of Development, Construction and Mobility of the City of Geneva.
The pitch is scheduled to be made available to Servette FC in summer 2024. According to the agreement signed between the parties, the maximum duration of this arrangement is 10 years from the provision of the pitch (new T3).
“We are delighted to have found a pitch for our first team in collaboration with the State Council and the City of Geneva,” concludes Pascal Besnard, Chairman of Servette FC. The development and modernisation of the sports infrastructures at the Vessy site will offer our professional team and the other teams in residence the very best training conditions.”
For any additional information
- Department of Social Cohesion (DCS) – State of Geneva: Mr Thierry Apothéloz, State Councillor, by contacting Mr Henri Della Casa, deputy secretary general responsible for communication, tel. 078 674 69 95
- Department of Security and Sports (DSSP) – City of Geneva: Ms Marie Barbey-Chappuis, Mayor of the City of Geneva, by contacting Mr Cédric Waelti, senior policy advisor responsible for communication, tel. 079 596 19 79.
- Servette FC: Mr Loïc Luscher, Media and Communication Officer, tel. 078 629 69 10
Article modifié le 21.06.2022 à 08:55