Parma stadium redevelopment approved by city council

Italian Serie B football club Parma Calcio 1913 will continue its work on creating ‘a unique and historical opportunity’ for the city after proposals for the redevelopment of its stadium, Stadio Ennio Tardini, were approved by the city council.

The club, which was relegated from the Serie A last season, unveiled initial plans in April last year with its design partner, Studio Zoppini, with the slogan ‘A Stadium for Parma, inspired by Parma’.

Parma’s City Council has now voted in favour of a resolution deeming the project to be of ‘public interest’, paving the way for the club to present its proposal for the redevelopment of the stadium. In total, it was 20 votes in favour, seven against, and four abstentions.

Deputy Mayor of Parma, Marco Bosi:

“The project presented by Parma Calcio is not perfect, but it is a huge step forward for our city. The task of this administration is to seize this opportunity by trying to obtain the best possible stadium,” he said.

“A project that will make the Tardini an opportunity for the neighbourhood during the week and a welcoming place on match day, especially for people that are heavily penalised today, such as the disabled and families.”

Parma Calcio 1913 club statement:

“The club expresses full satisfaction with the adopted measure and thanks Mayor (Federico) Pizzarotti, the Deputy Mayor Bosi, the City Council, RUP ing. Gadaleta and all the offices and parties involved in the feasibility study evaluation procedure,” it read.

“It also thanks the people of Parma for their prolonged support of this initiative, aware of the extraordinary opportunity that the decision from Parma Calcio 1913 offers. The club continues to work tirelessly towards the final project in order to create a unique and historical opportunity for Parma, its people and, more generally, the wider area.”

Although this is a big step towards progressing with redevelopments for Stadio Ennio Tardini, there are still people who oppose to the plans.

Parma Democratic Party municipal councillor, Lorenzo Lavagetto:

“First of all we posed a question of legitimacy on the resolution. We have concerns based on the fact that it should be the City Council, and not a resolution of the council, to vote for it. I presented the request for suspension but it was not accepted,” he said.

“I believe that the project needs to be changed from an architectural point of view. I hope that the project can be remodelled in more appropriate terms for the built-up area to create the least possible inconvenience for its inhabitants.

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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