[En France, le football professionnel est au bord du naufrage. Les clubs subissent les effets de l’épidémie, avec un huis clos synonyme de zéro recettes. Par ailleurs, une bonne part de la manne télévisuelle s’est envolée avec la défection de Mediapro fin 2020. Cette crise met en exergue les limites d’un « modèle » dépendant des droits de diffusion et des transferts. Outre la nécessité d’un autre modèle de gestion des jeunes joueurs, « Le Monde » a identifié trois autres chantiers possibles de réforme qui feront l’objet d’autres articles dans les jours à venir : la masse salariale, la place des supporteurs, la qualité du jeu.]
Anglicism would be enough to annoy a member of the French Academy. For six years, football executives, players’ agents, journalists have used and abused the word “trading”. Behind the ease and the fad, there is an economic model presented as the martingale to balance the budgets of structurally deficient clubs. Recipe ? Bet on emerging talents who have left the training center or bought younger elsewhere, “develop” them and wait for a juicy takeover offer.
” A lot of pressure “
Then president of Olympique de Marseille, Vincent Labrune – now head of the Professional Football League (LFP) – was the first leader to extol the merits of this model in an interview with the magazine France Football, in 2015. The clubs of Monaco, then Lille, transformed the discourse into actions and pushed this art of trading far further thanks to the network of one and the same man: the sports director, Luis Campos.
The Portuguese left the northern club in December 2020, anticipating the departure of its president, financier Gérard Lopez, claimed zealot for trading. With Olivier Létang, his successor, the tone has changed slightly. “We want to switch to a more measured and more classic model, argued the former president of Stade Rennes when he spoke for the first time as boss of LOSC on December 21. When you absolutely have to qualify for the Champions League the following year and you absolutely have to sell players for 100 or 150 million euros, that’s a lot of pressure. “
We have to put the subject in context. Between the consequences of the closed door imposed by the health situation and the prospect of a drop in television rights after the Mediapro fiasco, one of the pillars of its economic model, French football discovers that trees do not rise to the sky and that a recession looms over a hitherto flourishing transfer market on which it is also heavily dependent.
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