Football also plays it off the pitch. For the fourth time, the Football League publishes this Wednesday, July 8, its inventory of social and environmental actions. A wide range of initiatives for which pro football is investing up to 60 million euros this season. This sum, which represents 3% of pro football turnover, is set to increase thanks to new revenue from the French Championship broadcasting contract. Part of the audiovisual rights is in fact devoted to social and environmental commitment.
“It’s a long-term job but the lines have changed a lot in pro football in recent years,” said Nathalie Boy de la Tour, president of the Professional Football League (LFP). These societal and environmental issues must be a priority. “
Concretely, each club now has a CSR (corporate social responsibility) and ethical referent. Employees who work in concert with the authorities and all the professional teams. Several championship days are now devoted to joint actions. The next takes place during the 3rd day of the championship in favor of the French hospital federation. The operation called “A goal and in bed” raises 100 euros for each goal scored in L1 and L2 in order to finance the accompanying beds in pediatric units. An initiative that raised 130,000 euros last season for a total of 167 beds purchased.
Clubs increased donations during Covid pandemic
Health is one of the sectors in which clubs and players are mobilizing the most, even if the field of action is much broader. Numerous operations to combat racism, violence against women, discrimination or assistance for children are also developed in all of the clubs but also in training centers or among amateurs. Last November, OM successfully organized a tournament bringing together groups of supporters and LGBT associations. Angers or the PSG for their part are funding schools to help children with school or family difficulties when Montpellier has committed to planting five trees for each goal scored during the season.
Multiple initiatives encouraged and supported by the League, which relies in particular on expert associations to supervise and support the movement. “Clubs have always had this social connection, at the start it was mainly donation of tickets, today it is larger and more ambitious,” explains Nathalie Boy de la Tour. Our role is to give impetus but also to offer them tools to help them. It is necessary to promote good practices and methodology. The world of football must open up to the outside. In exchange, it can offer a great sounding board. “
A movement that can even exist outside of competitions. While football has stopped since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, clubs have increased financial and food donations and brought medical and technological equipment to hospitals. In parallel, all the clubs collected 3 million euros for healthcare staff and people in precarious situations.