Sampdoria Women saved? Club continuing to seek “best possible solution” for women’s first team

With just three weeks to go until the new Serie A Femminile season, Sampdoria appear to have confirmed that their women's team will take their place in the Italian top flight, albeit in a vague statement that was forced by their players taking a stand a week earlier.

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After a summer of uncertainty culminating in Sampdoria Women players releasing a statement to lament the club’s lack of communication about the future of their team, the Ligurian club seem to have now gone back on their decision, communicated in July, to pull the funding of their women’s team. Although the club’s latest and belated update is relatively vague, it appears as though Sampdoria will now take their place as planned in the 2023/24 Serie A Femminile season, which is set to kick off in just three weeks’ time.

Sampdoria issued a statement in July explaining that the financial situation inherited by the new owners following the club’s purchase by Andrea Radrizzani had left them with no choice but to withdraw their women’s team with immediate effect. There was never, however, any communication with the players themselves, and the club made no further comment on the matter after that statement released at 22:22 CEST on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.

A month later, on August 19, Sampdoria Women players released an open letter to highlight their position. The explained that they did now know if they had employment, said that they had not received any instructions about starting pre-season (with every other top-flight club having began their preparations), and revealed that their June salaries had remained unpaid by the club.

Sampdoria Women survived?

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. But the summer descended into farce when, in July, the club announced their decision to pull funding from the women’s team.

Now, though, the decision appears to have been reversed and Sampdoria look as though they will in fact play in Serie A next season.

“U.C. Sampdoria announces that it is continuing in its efforts to find the best possible solution for the women’s first team,” Sampdoria said in a statement on August 24, 2023.

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

“After the official press release on July 19, the club has activated various institutional and entrepreneurial negotiations, also outside of Liguria, in order to not give up our place in Serie A Femminile, to protect and safeguard the working commitments of the professional players, their professionalism and the integrity of the competition.

“In the last few weeks, an opportunity for dialogue has opened up, favoured by potential new investors.

“In the meantime, the nine registered players have already undergone medical examinations and will resume training in Bogliasco with all of the facilities at the club made available to them: from technical, athletic and medical staff to their own sports facilities.”

What exactly the club mean remains to be seen, and it may well be the case that they sell their place in Serie A Femminile, having only purchased Florentia San Gimignano‘s place at the beginning of the 2021/22 season.

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