How will our padel courts be after confinement? The Argentinian columnist, Emilio Forcher, had fun imagining the fields in padel clubs.

If necessarily the image of Emilio aims to make people laugh, the economic situation is much less. Whether in France or abroad, the impact of the virus on the economic health of padel clubs is catastrophic.

France less affected than other nations?

The saying: “there is always worse elsewhere” seems to make sense when we listen to the South American economist Enrique Garcia who helped us write this column.

Indeed, the health crisis is obviously terrible for the French economic world and our padel clubs are not immune to this disaster.

However, it may be even worse in certain countries such as Spain or Argentina. The economist Enrique Garcia has long studied economically the Spanish-speaking padel. For him, it is clear: the padel in Latin America will meet a serious setback.

Clubs less well structured than in France

Enrique Garcia tells us that in general, European structures are more structured than in Latin America, “especially among VSEs or sports SMEs ”. Faced with crises, “Companies that have managed administratively and economically to build themselves will be better able to face external hazards…”

The reason is simple: “Padel clubs in Latin America are often small with small, if not zero, cash flow in most cases."

The other reason: “The policies of our states or federations which organize sports are not the same between our nations”.

In general, and even more so in France, “the state will intervene massively, and there are also many systems to absorb crises. If France benefits less from global growth, it can absorb crises much better than it can face ”.

“A chance to have the FFT bulwark”

Enrique Garcia also noted that the padel was part of one of the largest sports federations in the world: the French Tennis Federation.

Its striking power is one of the most important. It is a rich federation which benefits from an annual rent with its licensees (Nearly a million players), from a tradition of approving sporting events (and therefore receiving approval of an event), it is an association law 1901 with all that implies behind, and above all, even if this year will be special, the FFT benefits from one of the biggest sporting events in the world: Roland Garros.

Who can boast in sport of having such an important capital? as rich? She is a power in the incredible world of tennis. We could see it again recently by successfully imposing its date extension with Roland Garros. We don't say NO to the FFT. And I remind you that it is also an association. She will therefore be able to show what she can do in times of crisis. And the state is with it.

France privileged?

At the starting line: we therefore seem privileged. Hard to believe when you see the degree of the crisis.

Let it be clear: whether in Europe, France or Latin America, the virus is hurting economies very badly. Post-containment may be just as complicated. But the difference is that it would be better to be in France for example than in Argentina or Brazil.

The FFT has already announced a plan for € 35 million to help the sports ecosystem which she represents including padel. You will not find any other padel federation offering this to its clubs: indeed the federations which manage padel are generally very poor and are themselves already in the red and even for some bloodless.

In summary, in France, clubs can certainly count on a marshall sport plan in general for several reasons:

  • French traditions: the state or its associative bodies have a tendency to intervene much more financially than other countries.
  • A unique federation in the world of sport, even more if we must compare the FFT with the other padel federations. Even the Spanish federation is a featherweight compared to the FFT.

The question we obviously ask ourselves is:

  • When will the crisis end? Because there is a time when even if we are in a beautiful country with a powerful federation, it may not be enough
  • Will the overall aid of the FFT be accessible to private clubs? This is another question that could well be debated in the coming weeks / months
Franck Binisti

Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Pyramid Club in 2009 in the Paris region. Since then padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France by going to cover the big French paddle events.