Started last June, the parliamentary inquiry aimed to shed light on the failure of the Téléfoot channel. It ended on Wednesday and brings its share of recommendations. We were able to consult them and here are the ones to remember.
By Pierre Rondeau
For several months, the deputies Régis Juanico (Génération.s) and Cédric Roussel (LREM) have heard about fifty people, specialists in sports law and economics to leaders of French and European football. Their objective was clear, it was necessary to find someone responsible, a culprit in this long Mediapro episode and, above all, establish a new map, a new way of doing things, so that the bankruptcy of a broadcaster, and all the setbacks that this can cause , never happens again.
More guarantees during calls for tenders and unencrypted matches
As a result, no less than 27 proposals were made. The deputies, members of the cultural affairs committee, want to revolutionize the sale and organization of television rights. The first important point is the strengthening of financial guarantees, in order to prevent, again, an insolvent player being able to apply during calls for tenders. Thus, they wish to impose “The payment of a systematic deposit of 10% of the value of the contract at the conclusion of the call for tenders” and “Promote independent guarantee at the first request from a first-rate banking establishment” . In other words, if you want to apply, you have to prove that you have the means. In addition, from now on, if these proposals are followed, the LFP will be required to take out insurance “To cover the risk of default of payment” and warn of a new Mediapro. Also, the contracts will be extended from 4 to 5 years, a request repeated several times by the channels auditioned.
Then, in the modality of the lots, the report recommends creating a “unencrypted match” package with the obligation to broadcast one match per day on unencrypted channels, to ensure free broadcasting for “Support the exhibition of national football” . In the same vein, the deputies propose the creation of a lot « highlights » in order to ensure the dissemination of goals and extracts from Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 on social networks, and a lot « streaming » for “Adapt to changing uses and broaden the subscriber base” .
Reforms in favor of clubs
On professional clubs specifically, the report supports the creation of an initial contract of 5 or even 6 years in order to avoid “Talent drain phenomenon” . Request already made many times by the leaders of French football. The president of the LFP, Vincent Labrune, had also submitted the idea to the senators, during his hearing on Wednesday, December 8. It also went in the direction of the parliamentary report since there also appears the wish of a salary cap, around 60 to 70% of the total budget, and a maximum number of 25 players. As for taxation, MEPs Juanico and Roussel recommend “A reduction in the rate of employer’s social security contributions for the first professional contracts” and “A degressive modulation up to the age of 24 of the rate of the employer’s social contributions for players extending their first professional contract in their training club” . In other words, less taxes to support the competitiveness of French football.
Help France TV and women’s football
Finally, in all the other remaining proposals, we can retain the re-establishment of advertising after 8 p.m. on the antennas of France Télévisions during sporting events, in order to ensure profitability for the public broadcaster and allow it to position itself on certain rights. There is also a demand for the creation of a minimum public audiovisual service for the broadcasting of sport on public channels or even “The substantial increase” the allocation granted to the National Sports Agency for audiovisual production, in particular in favor of women’s sport. Let us now hope that all these proposals, if they really contribute to improving and protecting football, are debated and heard by all the players, that some can be voted on and ratified. Otherwise, all of this will have been for naught.
By Pierre Rondeau