Nathalie Boy de la Tour officially announced that she would not run for a second term at the head of the LFP at 51. A rather surprising decision in a world where, on the other hand, men tend to cultivate the habit of clinging to their post (Frédéric Thiriez had remained in place for 14 years). She clearly does not have to be ashamed of her presidential record and it is therefore difficult to understand what could have discouraged her. Unless you read between the lines.

His arrival at the helm of the LFP was a semi-surprise. Impossible to lie to each other, we could hardly imagine the world of football, this ” stronghold of virility ”, Even within its sporting and economic elite, granting such recognition to a woman, the first to take the reins of such an institution in French sport. Of course, her skills had indeed already earned her to join the Board of Directors in 2013. Moreover, the post of President and here of President is more akin to a form of disguised regency, which must compose between the barons of Ligue 1 and the third estate of small clubs. A very unique role which, for a long time, boiled down to negotiating TV rights, as much as possible, and complaining to the Elysee about the ugly taxman who prevents winning the Champions League, to the point of irritating even Nicolas. Sarkozy.

Beyond the symbol

Nathalie Boy de la Tour is above all a professional CV (in charge of the digital sector of Bossard Gemini then of the communication agency BBDO2 before launching the Parisian show Galaxy Foot, etc.) which smacks of evolution recent football where communication and media have become as important as the consuming passion of a few notables (Jacques-Henri Eyraud in Marseille is another illustration). If her election represented a strong symbol for the cause of women, it would be wrong to look only at this side of the character. In just four years, she has thus largely contributed to transforming the league into a modern company, focused on digital and international, and her legacy is from this point of view not negligible. In return, she repeated over and over again her desire to reform the ” governance Of the League, denouncing statutes which blocked the necessary reforms. Hence, also, these rumors that the “big” clubs had dropped him, especially since the COVID-19 crisis.
The last few months have indeed been very trying. During the health crisis, she had lowered, like other leaders, her compensation by 30%, just to set an example (and a nice press release at the same time). Previously, she had multiplied small gestures with high media output, such as joining in 2019 for International Women’s Day, or signing a partnership with WWF France on the biodiversity and ecology register. Nevertheless, some members of the ” big family“Pro football criticized him for not having committed enough to obtain, with the State, the resumption of the championships as abroad. She was openly annoyed at the end of April. “We have very often found the ambient cacophony quite indecent, when we talk about more than 20,000 deaths in France. But, you know, we are in an environment where there is a lot of testosterone, where there are a lot of ideas, where there are a lot of sports tensions.(…)Professional football does not emerge grown.“This disillusioned disappointment responds to his desire to reposition the image of football, one of the dimensions of his”strategic planFor 2020.

The wall of …

Nothing that radically changed things internally, and thestorytellingdeclined without risk. If, for example, it had not renewed the contemptuous attitude of Frédéric Thiriez towards the supporters and the ultras (up to speaking awkwardly of “folklore“About homophobic insults, certainly in the middle of a debate very badly introduced by Roxana Maracineanu), it turned out on the other hand always as deaf to the true claims of the stands, as soon as they touch the wallet, like the matches Friday or Monday for Ligue 2 or National. In this way, it was the Ministry of Sports which initiated a real dialogue and timid advances, for example on fumis.
The question remains, however: why throw in the towel, even if, since, Michel Denisot is out of the woods, proof that behind the scenes something was brewing for his succession. The first concerned is hardly revealed in this regard. However, inThe team, she lets go, a little tired: “I am proud and happy about it. I hope I have created vocations and football needs to become more feminine. The sexist attacks I have been subjected to on social media are unacceptable. How about a man that the suit is too big for him? Of course not. Codes must change. Authoritarian or paternalistic management is over. Benevolence is not a weakness. »

By Nicolas Kssis Martov