Football clubs are so much more than 11 players on the pitch. They’re social institutions. They glue communities together. They give tens of thousands of people a reason to see their friends and family each weekend and share a unique passion. Rip a football club from its home and this social cohesion begins to be dismantled. San Lorenzo de Almagro, one of the biggest and most cherished clubs in Argentina, was unjustly removed from its neighbourhood by the underhand dealings of the country’s military dictatorship in the 1980s. What would you do if your club was taken from its home, never to return? Support the struggle of San Lorenzo’s fans. Help them return home.
Help supporters of Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro raise funds to enable the club to return to its place in the world: Boedo – Buenos Aires, Argentina. For those who have not been to Buenos Aires, a club’s identity is deeply rooted in its neighbourhood, much like the identity of European clubs is rooted in their home cities and towns.
The money raised will be entirely put towards buying square metres (m2) from the estate where the stadium used to be located until it was expropriated by the military regime ruling Argentina in the 1980s.
About the project
In November 2012, and thanks to the immense effort of thousands of San Lorenzo supporters who took to the streets of Buenos Aires, the parliament of the city of Buenos Aires passed Law Nº 4.384, also known as “Historic Restitution Law” by which the club was finally awarded the right to buy the estate where the ground was built in 1916 at a value set by neutral appraisers.
Let us not forget, that the estate holding the stadium was expropriated by the military regime in the 1980s with the official explanation outlining a need to re-urbanise the neighbourhood. The club was thus forced to accept a symbolic sum as compensation for the ground and the land. However, in an underhand move, the estate was soon sold to the French company Carrefour for a sum about 8 times higher than what was paid to the club. Carrefour built a megastore on the land of the old stadium which is still open to this day. In short, the land was expropriated in order to re-urbanise the neighbourhood and not only did that not happen, but the club received 1/8 of the real value of the property.
As a consequence of this, the club lost its ground and was forced for several years to pay rent to play its home games elsewhere (River Plate, Boca Juniors, Velez Sarsfield, Ferrocarril Oeste and Huracán amongst other grounds). It was only thanks to effort of the club’s supporters that, faced with this lack of a home ground, a temporary new stadium was built in 1993. This site, however, is located though outside the club’s neighbourhood and opposite one of the biggest and most dangerous shanty towns of Buenos Aires.
Once the temporary ground was built, the struggle to return to the neighbourhood of Boedo continued. It is important to understand that the club is not only a football club but also a social club where several sporting and social activities take place daily and from which the locals can benefit much more than from having a megastore.
Once the Historic Restitution Law was passed, the club’s supporters created a trust (account number n° 160653/5 BANCO CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES) with the exclusive goal of raising funds to buy from Carrefour the 35.667 m2 that were expropriated from us so that we can rebuild our ground in our neighbourhood and thus restore our identity.
Thanks to the donations of almost 20 thousand people who joined the trust, supporters, players and celebrities, 48 million pesos have already been raised. 30 million has already been transferred to Carrefour with the purpose of starting part of the construction works in the area surrounding the estate.
Nowadays, almost 100 years from the construction of the original stadium we feel that our dream of returning to our beloved neighbourhood is closer than ever. That’s why a group of supporters who live in Europe have created this project and seek to raise funds to buy m2 that help us get closer to Boedo.
We are asking for the support of ANYONE who believes that our claim is a fair one and that wants to help us return to our home neighbourhood. We have all bought our square metre and continue to raise money for further metres (more or less depending on the possibilities of each of us). Please help us with our struggle, no amount is too small!
What would you do if this would happen to the club you love? Join this campaign, now is the time to return to Boedo and it is up to us to make it happen!!!!
If you want to know more about the club, this is the club’s official website: http://www.sanlorenzo.com.ar/
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!