FRANCE: Why Euro 2016 is a festival of cash and football business

 June 10, 2016    Source:  


Photo from Paris-Lutte.Info

    Little analysis of the Euro, its sponsors, its construction of hiperexpensive stadiums and its violations of labor law….

A few days before the start of the most awaited competition in the football world, voices are raised to denounce a competition eroded by money and partnerships between companies of big capital. Besides the threat of terrorist attacks and fights between hooligans, an appeal was spread by militants against the Labour Law to disrupt the Euro in the continuity of the social movement in progress. The sponsors of the competition include entities such as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Credit Agricole, Mc Donald’s, Continental, Orange, the French Games, UEFA, the FFF etc. to justify the text. Similarly, 42,000 police officers, 30,000 gendarmes and 13,000 mobilized vigilantes throw light on an event based on both the financialisation of football and ultra-security of public space (fan-areas and grandstands).

Luxurious and highly expensive stadiums built since 2010

Everyone has noticed since the late 2000s in France: football arenas are changing at great speed to become true multi-function areas that are both concert halls, shopping centers and incidentally receive supporters of home team. The examples here are not lacking: le Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, le Parc OL in Lyon, l’Allianz Riviera in Nice and le Matmut Atlantique Stadium in Bordeaux, not including new Velodrome in Marseille renovated in 2013. A survey of online media Alternatives Economiques and Basta Mag proved  outrageous prices dropped by French local authorities as the Brazilian authorities did for the World Cup in 2014 or the Greek ones for the Athens Olympics in 2004. Public-private partnerships that would cost a fortune for taxpayers to pay rents to investors for the management of short-term construction and operating costs.

According to the survey, the result is oscillers between “bad and catastrophic” and for one simple reason: the French stadiums are desperately empty throughout the year during the league and domestic cups. The lack of interest in football in our country reflects thus a contradiction with the magealomania madness of the leaders, always attempting to attract more consumers to the detriment of fans who taste them increasingly with stadium bans and restrictions freedom of all kinds (220 prefectural arrests were drafted this year to prevent traveling of supporters, sometimes even within their own city!). The new stadium of the city of Bordeaux, for example, cost $ 197 million for only one utilisation dedicated to professional football. The city council shall in turn contribute annually an amount around 1.5 million for a  Vinci management with the goal of return on its investment within 30 years. We find the same type of arrangement in Lille, Nice, Marseille and Lyon with its last case of an integral participation of Olympique Lyonnais. Yes, but this project is presented as “no cost to the taxpayer” by the president of the OL, Jean-Michel Aulas and will be fully supported by the department in case it would happen to not repay the loan of 450 million over 10 years.So colossal investments that may yet soon face the low stadium attendance once the Euro 2016 wille end.

A strengthened state of emergency and an underpaid workforce.

The state of emergency, in force in France since the attacks of November 2015, was extended by Manuel Valls to predict the risk of attacks and disturbation of  public order during the Euro. The  measure hotly contested by political activists of all stripes also throw the light on a fan flow management problem, with the possibility or even the near certainty of clashes between rival hooligans. After the fiasco of the final of Coupe de France OM-PSG, the authorities seem to lag behind raports on the public problems which are coming closer and closer. For example. The matched Turkey-Croatia and England-Russia will certainly be very agitated with the first risk of clashes between Turks and members of Kop Of Boulogne, the match will play at Parc des Princes and the second can be a possible remake of England-Tunisia in Marseille in 1998. Moreover, the issue of working conditions in the fan zones leads, according to the review Politis, further to evidence of the Euro as consisting of a ultra-business event. Spartan conditions of access for inspectors and the inability to perform a check before a game is a blatant demonstration. The UEFA, to top the table,  does not pay one penny of tax to the state despite a slate estimated at 1.7 billion euros for the construction of stadiums, roads and parking lots.







About tahriricn

bringing together anarchist perspectives from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe

Posted on June 17, 2016, in Capitalism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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