Update from April 1, 2021 at 4 p.m.: the following text is an April Fool’s joke. Jeff Collet, president of Neuchâtel Xamax, and Olivier Calame, president of HCC La Chaux-de-Fonds, agreed with a smile to comment on what was therefore not real information. Even if the president of the red and black club dropped: “This idea is not so stupid…”
If the project is successful, it will disrupt Neuchâtel sport and, beyond that, the community life of the canton: Neuchâtel Xamax and HC La Chaux-de-Fonds (HCC) plan to merge.
The two clubs would become one, active both in football and ice hockey, like Paris-Saint-Germain or FC Barcelona, who are not limited to football, but invest also in other sports.
The possibilities for synergies are undeniable.
Jeff Collet, president of Neuchâtel Xamax
It all started with an impromptu meeting between the two presidents, Olivier Calame for the HCC and Jeff Collet for Xamax. As the discussion progressed, they realized how their clubs worked on their own for activities that could be pooled.
“There are many examples,” notes Jeff Collet, confirming the information from “ArcInfo”. “We can cite the search for financial partners, an area in which we would be stronger together, but also the administrative sector and the medical sector, travel for junior teams, needs related to the sports-study sector, contracts with equipment manufacturers, communication, and so on.”
He summarizes: “The possibilities for synergies are undeniable.”
The entire canton, Upper and Lower, could identify with a single club.
Olivier Calame, President of HC La Chaux-de-Fonds
Opinion shared by Olivier Calame. In addition, says the latter, “with a significantly larger company, each of the first two teams of the club, which currently militate in the second division, would have the possibility of competing even more quickly for a place in the highest category of the country.”
The president of the HCC adds: “The whole of the canton, the Top as the Bottom, could identify with a single club.”
What reaction from the fans?
It is in this spirit that a name has already been imagined for the future club: H-Max. H for HC La Chaux-de-Fonds, for top of the canton and for “high” (high in English). Max for Max Abegglen, whose nickname “Xam” is the origin of Xamax.
The discussions are even sufficiently advanced for a logo to have been designed.
However, the two presidents insist on one point: nothing has been done yet. They are also aware that some of the supporters, the most fervent in particular, will not necessarily appreciate this merger. Not to mention the reactions within the staff of the two clubs.
Finally, it should be noted that the two other professional clubs in the canton, the NUC (volleyball) and Union Neuchâtel (basketball), are not associated with the discussion. Admittedly, they have many salaried employees in their ranks, but they rely heavily on voluntary work. Their budgets are also not comparable to those of Xamax and HCC.