Florentino Perez has been repeating it since Sunday and the announcement of the creation of the Super League, this competition is made to meet the expectations of supporters.
Yet so far, football fans in Europe have not ceased to cry scandal.
Hence our (legitimate) question: who are these supporters for whom the competition was created?
Florentino Perez, the Philippe Martinez of supporters around the world? Listening to one of the Founding Fathers of the already defunct European Super League - who was moreover strangely alone in recent hours to go to the fire to defend his secessionist project - the failed coup of the now famous "twelve bastards" n 'would have been hatched by a single, laudable desire, that of "saving football". How? 'Or' What ? By offering them gala posters, morning, noon and evening, at the risk of bordering on indigestion.
However, since midnight Sunday, and until the last twists and turns on Tuesday evening, fans have instead sought to take forks and torches to nip this (almost) closed League project in the bud.
From Liverpool to Munich via Paris and Lisbon, all have taken up the cause of UEFA and its historic Champions League which, if it is far from perfect in its current formula - and will be even less so in its next one. grind - at least has the merit of not completely cutting off the beggars that the Super League sought to exclude.
Are 16-24 year olds less and less kicked by football?
But then, who is this mystery supporter for whom the instigators of the Super League have been working for years? "The supporter of tomorrow, according to the vision of the ECA (European Association of Clubs), either he is on the other side of the world, in North America or South-East Asia, or he is young and not does not have the time or the intellectual capacity to take an interest in a football match for 90 minutes ”, understands Ronan Evain, general manager of the Football Supporters Europe (FSE) association. This is indeed what the president of Real Madrid explained to us on Monday evening.
“Young people, 16-24 year olds, no longer have an interest in football. Why ? Because there are a lot of shoddy matches. There are other platforms where you can be entertained, right? Why would he watch games? Children play video games and find soccer matches too long. If young people cannot watch a game in its entirety, it is because it does not have enough interest or it needs to be shortened. "
On this point, difficult to prove him totally wrong. The latest study conducted by the ECA in seven European countries (including France) shows that barely 30% of 18-24 year olds say they are interested in football. If we can allow ourselves to express reservations about the results of a study carried out by the very people who want us to swallow the Super League without snubbing, Arnaud Simon urges us not to fall into the conspiracy theory. The former CEO of Eurosport indeed affirms that “many American studies make the same observation, there is a dropout of the younger generations in football. Everything converges, we must not be in denial, it is a reality and not just a survey of convenience to serve the discourse. "
We must have had no luck then by going to ask the question to Kays, 13, who assures us the heart on the logo of the PSG, that he "watches all the matches of Paris, even against the small teams".
And his friends?
“The same,” he replies, “since they too are supporters of their team.
I have a friend who is a Napoli fan, he watches all of their games.
"On the other hand, the prospect of looking at the best posters of the Super League every week does not thrill our teenager:" I am rather against that.
I find that it spoils the pleasure and therefore the joy of watching this kind of competition ”.
One observation, two diametrically opposed solutions
You have to believe that Kays and his crew are endangered species in the playground. "We also share the observation of a certain lack of interest among young people for football," says Ronan Evain. What we absolutely do not share is the explanation and the answer provided. If young people are losing interest in football, it is first and foremost because it has become too expensive for them to watch, whether at the stadium or on TV, and not because young people find the matches boring. And instead of making football more accessible and therefore more attractive, we decided to transform it into an entertainment product, by trying to reproduce competition patterns as they exist in e-sport or in closed NBA-type leagues. . This is a fundamental mistake. "
Esports, let's come to that. Like Adam Silver, the all-powerful boss of the NBA who until recently declared that the experience offered to viewers by the NBA was comparable to the silent cinema next to which is done in esports competitions , virtual sport is increasingly taken as an example by those who today want to revolutionize football. E-sport journalist at
, Paul Arrivé does not really understand what Florentino Perez is saying.
“Any esports match lasts longer than a soccer match, so taking this argument out to justify the creation of the Super League seems completely biased to me,” he says.
I find it hard to see the link between the lack of interest in football and the length of the matches.
I think it's more a question of dynamism.
And yet, it is not said, we also have our boring matches in e-sport, there are one-sided encounters, others where there is no rhythm, that also exists.
"For him too," it is above all a question of accessibility ".
"In my opinion, this is the crux of the problem: if you want to watch e-sport, it's free, it's on the Internet and that's where the young people are," notes the colleague.
Esports and video games occupy a space that sport has long neglected.
The very risky bet of the pros-Super League
According to our specialists, therefore, the creation of the Super League would in no way be a response to the desires of this too-hasty youth. But then who the hell is it for ??? To supporters at the end of the world, whether they are in New York, Beijing or Jakarta, those for whom we stall Ligue 1 matches at 1 p.m. thinking of coaxing them? “Certainly, agrees Arnaud Simon. Behind this desire for a European Super League, there is a more global view, of course. "
"This market exists and there are certainly growth prospects," concedes Ronan Evain once again.
But what these people seem to forget is that if a supporter in South East Asia identifies with a club like Liverpool or Barça, it is also for everything that has around the field, the culture, the history, supporters.
But that's exactly what they tried to kill with this Super League project.
“Winning supporters at the end of the world to lose the faithful around the corner, a bet that fortunately came to an end.
Super League: Fifa "can only disapprove" the dissident project and calls for dialogue
European Super League: Emmanuel Macron "welcomes the position of French clubs to refuse to participate" in the project