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Discussion in 'Ligue 1' started by nodoubt, Aug 23, 2012.
It's getting stronger.
5 league champions in the last 5 years suggests not.
The question maybe relates to the surge in popularity of the odd shaped ball game.
Despite their recent success the French football team seem to not have the love of the public.
I have heard this maybe partly racist - the French would love their team more if there were fewer ethnic minority players. That's just the Frenchies I guess.
In Italy as well, the clubs and the national team struggle to fill the grounds, yet the Rugby team can pack out San Siro and Rome, despite being the regular whipping boys.
I couldn't beleive what I saw on the TV the other days whilst channle hopping - a packed stadium wacthing an international rugby game in .... Buenos Aries ... that's right in Maradona/Kempes/Messi country that have this rugby virus taking hold despite being plucky no-hopers. What would happen if they won summat?
I don't understand
Club rugby crowds in Italy are pitifully small. About the same as non league footy. Just because the national team can sell out a couple of 6 nations games doesn't put Rugby on a par with football in Italy.
As for Argentina, its the same. Club rugby is still amateur and very small beer compared to football.
As for France, yes club rugby is bigger than in England and footy not as big but Football still has the greater overall following
Ligue 1 (footy), total attendance 7.16million, average 17,738
Top14 (rugby), total attendance 2.41million, average 13,269
I've just signed in when I saw this topic.
I'm a French guy and I can tell you a lot about football in France.
This question is relevant! Why? Because football popularity and clubs' finances aren't good at all!
Here are some main figures about french football:
FIFA ranking: 2000: 1st 2013: 18th
UEFA Ranking: Portugal overpassed France
Finance: French Championship is (maybe I'm wrong and there are other leagues) the only league with a "financial fair play": a team cannot play if they have a deficit at the beginning of a season. BUT, French teams have more and more deficits and finding investors is much more complicated than before. So, ... hard time!
Number of people practicing football: between 2007 and 2012, 500 000 people stopped practicing football in France!
There are different way to explain those problems.
First of all, about finance: the recent financial crisis is an argument but not only. France isn't one of the main championship so it's very difficult to raise money. Monaco and PSG are the two new teams with unlimited financial powers, but, can the other teams (lyon, Marseille, Lille, ...) find money for their ambitions. For the moment, the answer is clearly: NO!
Will the UEFA financial restrictions help French teams? Yes, but they have to wait 3-4 years before seeing a real progress.
About football popularity: over the latest 6 years, the national squad was just a ... deception! No game, no goals, no symbolic victory, nothing! More, there were a lot of problems about players (Nasri, Ben Arfa, Anelka, the "riot" during the SA world cup, ...). People see those players as mercenaries. They don't want to represent France but only their bank account. On the other hand, rugby is getting more and more important (even if football is still more popular) and people prefer Rugby values so they prefer this sport.
I still think that it is more an internal problem about football than a problem about rugby popularity.
About the Ligue 1:
Teams are ... bad. Players' technical skills are ... poor. Referees are ... bad (even FIFA doesn't want French referees to participate to International events). So it's very difficult for the moment.
Can Ligue have hope in the future? Yes
1/ France will organized the 2016 European Cup: new stadiums are being built (Nice, Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Bordeaux) => France will have new modern stadiums.
2/ Monaco and PSG are bringing a new fresh air in this championship (will the French government kill this new opportunity? I'm afraid they will)
3/ UEFA financial fair play will allow French teams to compete with the other European Teams. For example, Spanish teams can have more and more debts and can offer well paid contract but as we can see today, a lot of Spanish team doesn't pay their taxes and suffer to pay their squads. In the future, they won't be able to do that (ie: Malaga situation) and French teams will be able to compete with Spanish teams (apart for Barca and Real Madrid).
Hope this answer will help you!
About the "ethnic minority players", this isn't true.
Of course, there will always be racist people in France like in all countries. The French squad which won the World Cup in 1998 was "Black, Blanc, Beur" = "Black, White, Arab" and it was the symbol of social integration in the French society (sorry guys, this is sociology, I won't go too far in this topic ). When there are problems, who is always criticized? Minorities.
The probleme in more about the football value "Money, money and money"