Is soccer better without an audience?

This scene ignited social media. On August 22, during a League 1 match between OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille, international Dimitri Payet angered his lips and gave Nice supporters a bottled water that he had just thrown behind. I threw water. In a few seconds, it’s a mess: breaking into the field, fighting between the spectator and the player … and the premature end of the match whistling by the referee. The season has just begun, but this is not the first case of its kind. Not the last.

In December, Paris Saint-Germain’s Ultras and Olympic Lyon’s Ultras said, “Concrete measures and constructive measures and constructive measures” with a view to fighting violence at the interior minister, the keeper of the lizard, the sports minister, and the stadium. And the highest authority of professional soccer to decide to “verify the pursuit of collaboration”!

Faced with these more uncontrollable supporters and the consequent sports sanctions, especially defeats on the green carpet, exclusion from certain competitions and closed-door matches, some large clubs are spectators. I could have dreamed of a championship purely and simply without … After all, the income from the game-ticketing and consumption at the stadium-is only 10% of the income, whereas the rights to television. Is 50% and the rest is sponsorship and player transfer fees. You can guarantee a milder competition at a lower cost.

Even if this view pervades the hearts of some leaders, it still stands as a scarecrow to escape at any cost. “We have been forced to limit or completely curb the flow of spectators several times,” said Tibaud Drone, head of the national sector for the fight against the hooligans. But it’s always the last solution and the most unfortunate. This organization, which relies on the Ministry of Interior, was also established specifically to avoid reaching such objectives.

The 2020-2021 season and Covid’s unmanned stadium show that. Soccer without an spectator is no longer real soccer. All actors, players and viewers in the world’s most popular sports have seen it. No one wants to relive this situation, despite the record excess that marked the return of supporters to the stand, beyond purely financial considerations.

“I was hoping for a difficult recovery after more than a year of frustration. Thibaud Delaunay continues, but despite the preparatory work, he was surprised at the scale of the incident. What is important is that it definitely has a negative impact on security measures. “Because the 2021-2022 season started with a boiling population.” I went to the stadium. When I went there, I felt more excited than usual, both positive and negative, “tests sociologist Nicholas Hourcade.

The fan specialist believes that there is still a lack of prospects for analyzing recent events, but “this violence is not all in the same order and therefore not unique to France and seeks the same answer. I’m not asking for the same answer because I haven’t. Soccer privileges. »»

Current violence is also the result of the health crisis of the last 18 months. Like the food service industry, security companies face a human resources crisis, including loss of experience and skills, employee dispersal, and difficulty in hiring new employees. Result: “The club faced real difficulties with private companies demanding to provide security during the match and experienced significant personnel changes,” said Thierry Drone. At the beginning of the season, it was not uncommon to notice that the club saved 10% compared to what the guards planned. »»

Nicolas Hourcade also points out the lack of solidarity among stakeholders. Professional soccer leagues and clubs assert that it is the responsibility of the public sector to act, and the public sector is responsible for the club and the responsibility for doing so. I’m answering. Theoretically, anything that happens inside the stadium is the responsibility of the host club, and anything that happens outside the stadium is the responsibility of the public sector. However, in some cases, given the risk of slippage, clubs cannot be secured on their own and need to seek help from the police. The latter can take proactive control measures, for example, limiting the number of supporters or prohibiting some supporters from entering the stadium.

The English example recalls Nicholas Hour Cade. “British football has solved some of the problems not by fines or sanctioning clubs in closed rooms. It is by sanctioning and dismissing violent individuals from the stadium.” , Because we need to meet the bigger challenge in football, ”Tierry Drone rebounds. Great popularity comes with great responsibility.