While the war of positions continues between the national representation (assembly and senate) and the government around the delicate estimation of the proportionality of the gauges, the State has just reactivated certain devices to rescue professional sports threatened economically by this measure. This is enough to add a dose of skepticism to the choice of emptying the stands, an option of which nothing proves the necessity or the effectiveness, especially if it is the taxpayer who finds himself relieving the morale and finances of L1 clubs. or L2.
Gathered in Bercy last Monday, the main ministries concerned and other players in professional sport discussed the best way to overcome the current crisis. That obviously induced by the gauges and the loss of ancillary income (sale of drinks, etc.). If football is neither the only nor the most affected, in view of the relative weight that the ticket office weighs in its accounts, it is no less demanding. After the Bérézina of Mediapro, which the LFP blamed in part, without shame, before the parliamentary commission of inquiry to the public authorities, all the residents of L1 and L2 are it is true on the nerves. They have certainly been more than helped during the various periods of confinement, curfew, restrictions, cessation of competitions, much more than all of amateur football. However, the announcement of the gauges again caused crocodile tears to flow down the cheeks of Aulas or Labrune. To reassure them, therefore, the Ministry of the Economy has announced the return of two specific devices: “Partial activity without remaining chargeable for structures faced with gauge limitations and the ban on drinks and food in ERPs (establishments open to the public), and those that lose more than 65% of turnover . » In addition, a support fund covering up to 90% of the operating loss will cover the months of December and January for clubs that have lost more than 50% of their turnover. In addition, exemptions from social security contributions are under study. Above all, Bruno Le Maire announced that companies and clubs in great difficulty could benefit from a period of ten years, instead of six, to repay the PGE (loan guaranteed by the State) contracted. Try doing the same with your bank…
We can indeed find it normal that the State supports this singular sector, as it has done, with variable geometry, for others. What questions remains that for once, these aids are the consequence of decisions which are far from being generalized and above all are hardly unanimous. In terms of public health, we are going through a period where the dominant feeling is no longer the feeling of urgency, but the impression of an outdated and constantly improvising state in the face of a pandemic that is two years old. How to explain the idea of imposing the gauges when we leave the schools open at all costs, without giving the means to the establishments to welcome the pupils as they should and in complete safety (no air purifier, no adequate masks distributed, including to teachers). How to justify gauges, therefore compensated by taxpayers’ money, when hospitals and schools are sorely lacking in money to face the big bad Omicron?
This is also a gift that reflects the image of a football that ultimately requires maintaining its lifestyle no matter what, when the rest of society, as evidenced by the extremely popular teachers’ strike this week, is energized and on edge. If sobriety is not the most sought-after virtue in professional football, in times of crisis, it may prove necessary, if only in terms of exemplarity or solidarity. On this occasion, does not public money ultimately prove to be as much a fault of the State as a lack of civility on the part of pro clubs?
By Nicolas Kssis-Martov