Is professional football an economic activity like any other? The answer is no, judging by the privileges he has enjoyed, all over Europe, to get out of the Covid-19 pandemic as little as possible. Yet it is this health crisis, which has forced the teams to be almost behind closed doors for nearly a year, which has convinced 12 European clubs to precipitate the long-announced creation of a Super League independent of its parent organization, the ‘UEFA.
By deciding unilaterally and on very questionable criteria to free themselves from the rules of the sporting world (meritocracy, equal opportunities, randomness) to no longer subject their activity to economic principles, the secessionists, renamed ” The Dirty Dozen ”by the British press, have alienated the Europe of football with a unanimity against them probably never reached.
The risk of this private competition is to cut elite football not only from its base but from all the rest of the pyramid. We can dream of an “NBA of football” but the American basketball league operates on other registers (school and university sport) and in another context (a championship far superior to all the others) which cannot be transposed. in Europe.
All last week, Time explored the new challenges of sport. The creation of the Super League responds to some of them, such as the battle for attention or adaptation to the consumption patterns of Generation Z. On the other hand, it fails to give meaning to its activity, a notion that is nevertheless fundamental. .
The Super League guarantees its members more money, which they will spend as before to pay the players (and their agents) more and more, because, soon, the players will be more important than the clubs and the latter will give up. their turn to ballast to maintain control. It promises the public more large posters, but they will tire of them, as they have grown weary of the previous formulas whenever they cut corners on uncertainty and hope.
Two of these clubs, Liverpool and Real Madrid, faced each other last Wednesday in the Champions League. A tasteless match (0-0), despite the stars and the winners. Just before, RTS broadcast Kriens-Servette in the Swiss Cup. He was filmed by a camera at breast height, and we could see bad ground, a minimalist Servette, a Kriens libero with 10 kilos too much, people behind the fence. It was less good, of course, but football was touching its human, social and cultural dimension when the Super League only promises a high-end consumer product.