By securing Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro, one of the five major Argentine clubs, as their potential cooperation partner, FC Basel 1893 have taken a strategically interesting first step in an exciting football market. Last weekend a delegation from CASLA visited Basel and the two parties signed a declaration of intent for possible cooperation in the field of sport. Such cooperation could include loan transfers or definite acquisitions by the FCB of promising CASLA players on preferential terms. The precise details of the planned cooperation will be worked out jointly by the decision-makers of the FCB and CASLA in the coming weeks and months following the recently signed declaration of intent.
Roland Heri, CEO of FCB: ‘We are very pleased to now have San Lorenzo as a direct contact in South America and to be pursuing this approach together. In the coming weeks it is important that we develop a good understanding of the needs of the two clubs and work out a model of cooperation that makes sense both for us and San Lorenzo and that both clubs are happy with.’
A club steeped in tradition with passionate fans
CASLA is an old established club from the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires that boasts a proud tradition. The club was founded in 1908 and has since won 12 titles in Argentina’s highest league. The international high point of the club was winning the Copa Libertadores, the South American Champions League, in 2014. San Lorenzo wear red and blue kit for its home games, which are played in the Pedro Bidegain stadium in the Nueva Pompeya district of Buenos Aires. The stadium accommodates just under 48,000 spectators, who are renowned for being extremely emotional and committed at CASLA, bestowing the club a long-standing and passionate fan culture.
This is exemplified by the fact that in 1979, during the military dictatorship, the club was forced to give up its stadium in its home district of Boedo against its will for a planned infrastructure project that was subsequently never implemented. As a result, for several years it was ‘homeless’ and had to play its home games in rival stadiums. But the CASLA fans did not let this get them down and from the very beginning maintained the desire to return to the site of the old stadium, where after it was demolished, a large shopping centre was built.
From 1998 this movement became even stronger and, with the aid of political and legal measures, the plans of the fans together with those of the numerous supporting fan clubs began to materialise. Finally, in March 2017, after agreement had been reached, the last instalment of the land repurchase price was transferred to the shopping centre group, an achievement which had only become possible thanks to the enormous financial support by the San Lorenzo fans. Since then, work has continued on the design and financing of the new stadium in the original location in the Boedo district. The future CASLA football ground – the Estadio Papa Francisco – is named after the Argentine Pope, who is also said to be a big fan of the club.