“It is time to define a model for French football that combines ‘sport spectacle’ and social exemplarity”

Tribune. Evolving within an inappropriate legislative and political universe, framed by a supposedly ineffective control of accounts, French football has not known, wanted or been able to think about its development. The failure of Mediapro and the Covid-19 pandemic only reveal more quickly than expected the great weaknesses of our national football.

Without the multiple loans guaranteed by the State (PGE) contracted by most clubs, obtained by relying on turnover inflated by sales of assets – the players – the loss would be major. The debt of our clubs is massive and does not date from yesterday. A few shareholders with strong backs support their clubs’ cash flow, but for how long? As for the others, they juggle as best they can …

Our analysis : After Mediapro fiasco, French football clubs realize they are sitting on a pile of sand, not gold

For twenty years, the disorder, the instability, the financial permissiveness, even moral, of the authorities, the behaviors and the declarations of certain footballers or coaches gave a bad image of our football. The Knysna bus affair, the disputes to which certain clubs considered themselves victims (SSG Entente, Luzenac, etc.), due to regulations interpreted “at the head of the customer”, the bankruptcy filings of historic clubs such as Sedan, Strasbourg or Bastia, the trial of PSG affairs, that of transfers to OM, the elections for the head of the Professional Football League (LFP), a reflection of the conflicts of interest between club leaders who are also decision-makers in the authorities, the consequences of the sudden end of the 2019-2020 championship, not to mention the recurring moral issues or governance problems at the French Football Federation (FFF) recently revealed, the list goes on. And justice, which acts little, and often late.

As for certain journalists, who live off the beast, they maintain it the better to kill it when it is in their interest. It is easier for them to pillory players or leaders when they fall, while they praise them when they win, causing their papers to sell.

Read also “If French football must be saved, it is first of all from itself”

The collective illusion that started after the 1998 World Cup is now proven. With the players of the France team almost all playing abroad, club football has remained very weak compared to England, Germany, Spain and even Italy. The French team, which is one of the best in the world, took advantage of the Bosman decision and made it possible to bring money into the national system, but at the expense of the quality of the game provided. Player transfer has become the tool of an inflationary wage cavalry between clubs around the world. As these transfers are paid over time, the debts held by French clubs will therefore be less and less certain.

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