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"During the transfer show, the football business continues"
Nicolas Pà © pà ©, former Dogues, new Gunner of Arsenal. FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP

Every summer, football clubs throw their money through the window of transfers. For the specialized media, the mercato has become more than a substitute news during the truce: a whole pan of their contents. For the fans, it is also the moment to fantasize their team, to imagine the future composition, to evaluate their potential.

Between these two aspirations opens an ambivalent space. Rumors and speculations are information, and this comedy has its own lexicon. A club "is not indifferent" to a player, "inquires" about it, has it "on its shelves". He is lent to the latter "departure", or even the will to go to the "arm wrestling" to snatch his "good exit".

The slightest guess can have an unexpected destiny. In 2006, the members of a forum of supporters had invented the Italian Borisio Ferrara, whose possible arrival in Saint-Etienne had been resumed even in France Football. Just a little: this weekend, the wrong translation of an article in Italian of The Gazzetta dello Sport led the site of the Spanish daily Marca To affirm the (irrealist) interest of OM for James Rodriguez.

Liar Poker

One in ten suppositions will be validated, but the confirmed transfer will have spawned many perioperations until the medical visit and the official signature, and the nine others will have fueled the fictions of the à © © summer. Major editions include specialized journalists who practice "A business in the field," said their heart of Lâ € ™ Equipe Lawrence Leenhardt. They track down reliable information, fighting for exclusives that will not last more than a minute.

Since the sources are often stakeholders (entourage or agents of the players, intermediaries, sports directors), their confidences can seek to raise the auctions, to arouse the interest of the clubs, to weigh on a birth. negotiation. A game of liar poker in which participate, in an ambiguous position, the sports media.

The confusion is reinforced by social networks, which abound from alternative sources whose reliability varies at the extremes. Social media is even becoming a field of investigation. There is a player watching who subscribes to the Twitter account of a club, a post from his girlfriend on Instagram. Theft of a private jet can be tracked online and pictures taken in a fashioned way The experts.

Played competition in advance

Everyone can play. Last month, the PSG Culture website launched a semi-parodic, semi-serious Twitter inquiry about an unidentified player seen at the club's headquarters. At the end of the process, signatures become events, almost victories. This is the moment when all hopes are allowed, where a rookie can dream of future success.

In the expectations of the fans, in their demand for new players, in their way of gauging the summer performance of their club, there is a part of alienation. Behind the stories told by the transfers, behind the speculations, there is a large and uneven competitive market; Behind this show in the show, a competition in the competition â € "played in advance.

The overwhelming majority of clubs can only pull their points from this game by turning themselves into players' players at the service of the European elite clubs. If the money from them runs (much on the intermediaries, via opaque circuits), their economic supremacy gives them the monopoly on the best footballers.

Destiny of subcontractors

The show of the transfer window, it is that of the "trading of players" which are forced to give a majority of clubs to get out. Specialized in this trade (such as Monaco or Lille, which sold Nicolas Paid to 80 million euros in Arsenal) or in training, they are exposed to the risk of brutal reconstructions and see the cycles of their sports projects shorten. A fate of subcontractors.

All are forced to think of their players as financial assets, more and more early. Even if William Saliba, 18 years old and no more matches in Ligue 1, will perform in the form of a loan one more season at AS Saint-Etienne, the latter could not refuse a transfer to Arsenal for 30 million euros. The Greens will barely benefit sportively from the player.

The generalization of the "bonuses" (payments differed or conditioned) and the interest on the future transfers are the culmination of this speculative shift, while the equity © competitions are degraded and the sporting powers oppose only vaguely vague regulation. During the transfer show, the football business continues.

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