The circus surrounding Sampdoria and their women’s team is showing no signs of coming to an end, even now with the 2023/24 Serie A Femminile season being less than a month away. Sampdoria Women players have come together to release an open letter to condemn the treatment they have received from the club.

In their statement, Sampdoria‘s players lament the lack of communication between themselves and the club. They claim that they are yet to receive notice of the future of the club, have received no instructions to start pre-season, and are still yet to be paid their salaries from June.

Back in July, Sampdoria released a statement to say that they were announcing their withdrawal from women’s football due to their financial situation, despite the club having only just been bought and taken over by new ownership. That, then, suggested that the Ligurian side would not take part in the coming Serie A season, though a painfully long period of silence then followed from the club and the Italian Football Federation – the FIGC – which only added to the uncertainty.

The 2022/23 season ended in spectacular fashion for Sampdoria. Inspired by Juventus loanee Agnese Bonfantini, the Blucerchiate complete a miraculous great escape to avoid relegation on the penultimate matchday of the season and send Parma to Serie B, this despite the Ligurian side having looked dead and buried for an extended period of the campaign.

Sampdoria Women players’ open letter

Finally sharing their side of the farcical series of events in Liguria, Sampdoria Women posted an open letter on their individual social media accounts. The full statement is as follows:

“Until now, our story has remained untold, as we have endured a prolonged period of uncertainty under our club’s management. Today, we seize the opportunity to shed light on our present circumstances.

“Despite four weeks having passed, the new owners, [Andrea] Radrizzani and [Matteo] Manfredi, have yet to communicate the future of Sampdoria Women. With the Serie A season less than a month away, we, the players, are eager and prepared to start, yet we have not received any instructions to commence pre-season training.

Sampdoria Women players celebrate against Parma Women in Serie A Femminile. [@sampdoria]

“The delay in training and the absence of communication have plunged us into an uncomfortable situation: missing housing, stability and even salaries. Remarkably, in contrast to the male senior team, we have not even received payments for the month of June of last season. Once again, the inequality between the treatment of the women’s team and the men’s team is glaringly apparent.

“These setbacks expose us to a heightened risk of injuries, which could potentially affect our careers. Beyond the physical toll, we want to highlight the impact on our mental well-being – feelings of worry, stress, signs of depression, and an overwhelming sense of uncertainty.

“Before being athletes, we are humans who are suffering in this situation. We deserve respect, a sentiment that has been lacking thus far from the new owners. For these compelling reasons, we ask the club to make decisive choices, whatever they may be, to end this distressing situation and allow every player to be in charge of their own future.”

Sampdoria’s statement on their women’s team

In a statement released at 22:22 CEST on Wednesday, July 19, Sampdoria announced their decision to remove their women’s team.

UC Sampdoria announces its withdrawal from professional women’s football,” read the Sampdoria statement

Sampdoria will return to investing in women’s football, which will be a cornerstone for future social projects within the city. The club will be present in schools to promote the integration of girls in football with complete inclusion and without prejudice.

“Unfortunately, the economic situation inherited [by the new ownership] and the excessive costs of running a professional women’s team in Serie A do not allow us to continue at this time.

“This is also a decision taken out of respect for Sampdoria‘s creditors and employees who have made a number of sacrifices in recent months and continue to do so in order to ensure the future of the club.”