The union of the left is also done in football. More exactly around the defense of Red Star, club of Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis) evolving in National (3and division), which has just been acquired by an American pension fund, 777 Partners. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the New People’s Ecological and Social Union, Benoît Hamon, former socialist candidate in the 2017 presidential election, PCF boss Fabien Roussel, as well as his comrades Stéphane Peu, deputy for Seine-Saint- Denis, and Marie-George Buffet, former sports minister in the government of Lionel Jospin, Olivier Besancenot, of the New Anti-Capitalist Party, but also authors such as Virginie Despentes, trade unionists, associations, former players and even journalists have thus signed a column, published in Le Monde, denouncing the takeover of the club born in 1897.
“For us, the Red Star is a common good that cannot be sacrificed on the altar of profit. We call on all Red Star supporters and football lovers across the country to block the sale and mobilize to make this fight a national fight against football business and defend another vision of football.” can we read in this text initiated by the Red Star Bauer collective and the Red Star fans.
The Red Star holds a special place in the French football landscape and for the left. Founded by Jules Rimet – initiator of the World Cup, who will be leader of the French Football Federation and the international federation (FIFA) – the club is one of the oldest in the country. At its creation, we are far from the worker and popular ideal claimed today. Her name (” Red Star “ in English) has unclear origins. It is not, in any case, a reference to the revolutionary or communist movement.
Labor anti-fascist tradition
Jules Rimet is, it is true, a social Catholic, and the club is founded in the chic districts of the capital. But he will quickly move to the northern suburbs in 1909. The left will later begin to take an interest in this rather special club, which has never shone in the league, but which has won several French cups (1921, 1922, 1923, 1928, 1942).
“There are two periods of rapprochement with the left. First in the inter-war period, during which the club, anchored in the red suburbs with a working and popular culture, is associated with this imagination, notes Mickaël Correia, journalist and author ofA People’s History of Football (La Découverte, 2018), signatory of the text. Then there was a revival in the early 2000s when supporters put forward the figure of Rino Della Negra. We move to a more libertarian and anti-fascist left. » Rino Della Negra, son of Italian immigrants and former club player, was part of the Francs-tireurs et partisans-Immigrant labor – the FTP-MOI, communist resistance fighters – during the Occupation. He was shot at Mont Valérien in 1944, with the group led by Missak Manouchian. The ultras of the Red Star baptized their platform with the name of the resistant, to show their attachment to this anti-fascist working class tradition.
You have 43.67% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.