Nearly half of Flemish sports clubs ‘obligated to take measures not to collapse because of energy prices’

In the past two weeks, more than 750 sports clubs in Flanders have been asked about the impact of the energy crisis on the clubhouse. Several club officials indicated that they were worried and afraid of ending up in the Reds. It’s not surprising to learn that the average pre-bill for sports clubs has become almost 2.5 times more expensive in recent months. An additional cost that no one counted on.

The big clubs have some reserves. But for many smaller clubs, often less popular sports, this is an outright disaster.

They admit that one of two Flemish sports clubs is currently in financial difficulty. About 17 percent incur structural losses and the last 30 percent use their financial reserves to continue paying all the bills.

Among other clubs, 35 percent indicated they could just keep their heads above water. But for how long?

Less heating

“More than four out of ten clubs are obliged to take action if they don’t want to collapse,” says Peter Hoff, general director of the Flemish Sports Confederation. They point out that a large number of clubs are already reducing heating or even stopping it altogether. And 10% of clubs are also asking their members to take shorter showers to keep their gas bills down.

Membership fee increases also seem inevitable. Already 7% of the clubs surveyed have done so. Others are thinking about it and are also looking for other additional sources of income in the meantime. Although sponsors are often not eager to invest money in smaller sports that attract smaller crowds. Whereas they just need those extras to survive.

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Cry for help

“Of course we want to prevent people from falling by the wayside because they can no longer afford to pay their sports club membership fees. This is why we are urgently requesting financial support from governments for the entire organized sports sector. Federal, Flemish and local governments must do their part to guide the clubs Sports during this crisis. We have already heard that Minister Wits is releasing resources to support sports clubs in this matter. We look forward to a constructive discussion on how best to spend these resources,” says Van Hove.

Survey results

– 17 percent of Flemish sports clubs are already incurring structural losses

* 30 percent are currently withdrawing from their most recent financial reserves

* 35 percent of clubbers indicate that they can only keep their heads above water.

* Approximately 20 percent of Flemish sports clubs are still in good financial shape at the moment

* Prepaid energy bills in sports clubs increased by 137 percent

* 7% of clubs have already increased membership fees

* 13% of clubs are considering asking for more membership fees

* 70% of clubs reduce or completely turn off the heating.

* 10% of clubs ask members to take shorter showers.

Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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