Frédéric Therese: “Courage and actions so that our clubs can rise to the level of the Blues!”

Frédéric Therese, lawyer, former president of the Professional Football League (LFP) from 2002 to 2016, candidate for the presidency of the French Football Federation defeated in 2021 by Noel Le Greatdraw conclusions from World Cup in Qatar And its consequences for French football. We publish his opinion article.

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Deprived of his Ballon d’Or, weakened by injuries and the virus that came out of nowhere, the French national team has achieved a track in Doha that is admired. From the final match he lost to an Argentine team in warrior mode, we will remember his courage at the end of the match, the promising personality of the young French talent and of course. Mbappe genius.

More than a defeat in the final, what matters to appreciate the strength of French football is its trajectory over time. In the last seven World Cups, France have qualified for the finals four times. one budget. Brazil, Germany and Argentina also lead double the score. Spain and Italy four times less. France is undoubtedly the most successful country in the past 25 years, and the most “sustainable”.

It is the fruit of a coaching policy initiated in the 1970s by Georges Boulogne, followed by his successors in the National Technical Directorate (Michel Hidalgo, Henri Michel, Gerard Houllier, Aimee Jacquet, etc.). Added to this is the diversity of our population which is an immense wealth, without offense to those who detract from the “black and white of France”.

These talents are sufficient to reveal them and then emphasize them in sports and school formation at the same time. This is how the famous dual project was summed up by Georges Boulogne when he spoke of the training centers: “Here, we train the men before we train the footballers.”

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French professional clubs now host 35 training centers for young people between the ages of 15 and 19 who train more than 2,000 youngsters and about 10% of them have a professional contract. Add to that what happened before. Gérard Houllier was originally from the federal “pre-training” centers for children ages 12 to 15, which were renamed “Hope Centres”. In France, there are 16 for boys and 8 for girls.

This policy is doubly profitable. On the one hand, professional clubs benefit from it because they get comfortable transfer compensation when their youngsters go abroad, attracted by much higher salaries. On the other hand, Al-Ittihad includes a group of well-trained players, and most of them can be selected for the blue jersey. It is therefore no coincidence that many countries have sought inspiration from this French model, such as Germany (world champions in 2014) after their failure at Euro 2000 or Morocco, whose run in Doha should not have been surprising.

So will everything go for the best in the best of all possible worlds? No. In a perfect (or better) world, the vast majority of talent trained in France would continue their careers there, offering the public an even better professional championship and an impressive European Cup record. However, in a world liberated byBoseman pausedThe plundered, formative France became the second “exporter” of players after Brazil. It still sticks to an unexciting fifth place in the UEFA index, just behind England, Germany, Spain and Italy. And our national team has had very few players playing in France (6 out of 26 in 2022!).

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what to do Even if our politicians fall on deaf ears, we must remember that the competition between European clubs is completely distorted by the exorbitant level of social contributions of employers in France. Not only is the rate much higher (more than 30%, against 13.7 in the UK for example), but above all contributions are not capped as in Italy, Germany and Spain. The result was disastrous for our clubs: Angers pay 12 times more than Real Madrid every year. Saint-Étienne pays more fees than all the clubs in the Bundesliga combined, Olympique Lyonnais more than the Bundesliga and La Liga combined, and Paris Saint-Germain alone than all the clubs in the three German, Spanish and Italian leagues combined…

So every year our clubs enter the race for European titles with a ball in their feet and these major deformities are directly responsible for the emigration of our best footballers. To pay a player net 600 thousand euros, the German club pays 613 thousand, and the French club 804 thousand (Study Premier league / ayacheSalama, 2019).

We can understand that our governments, though aware of this fact, are reluctant to act. ” what? Legislating football players, these millionaires? While many French people struggle to make ends meet?…. Double wrong: the exemption of social security contributions for employers is aimed at companies representing clubs and not corporations; such legislation, by limiting the outflow of those abroad, would transfer the taxable (and high!) income to France, so that the process would be at the end of Ultimate winner in public finance.

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It takes little courage and education to move forward, except to surrender shamefully to France who play in the second division of Europe. »

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