President of the French Football Federation, Noel le Graet, has some hot takes on the Dimitri Payet transfer to West Ham, and he wants everyone to know.
Payet shocked Marseille when he pulled back on a verbal agreement to sign a new contract, and instead took a big contract at Upton Park without telling his club until the deal was about complete.
While Payet’s actions were certainly controversial, many in France have responded with an equal amount of anger and frustration. The most outspoken has been le Graet, who heaped blame on just about everyone in France for the result of this transfer. First, he took aim at the big clubs for not buying Payet instead, as if it was their fault he left France.
“It’s embarrassing,” le Graet claimed while speaking to Le Parisien. “PSG have a role to play though, as do Monaco. I would prefer that our big clubs, with strong economic situations, were interested in French internationals. I dream to see half of the team at PSG consisting of French players. It would be better for everyone and feed the market. With the values, we could have a competitive team.”
While the sentiment is nice, as most countries wish to have top domestic players playing at top domestic clubs, for the FFF president to essentially say it’s those clubs’ fault that domestic players got paid a lot of money elsewhere is a bit ridiculous. But he didn’t stop there, going after the television companies for not pumping enough money into the French game.
“If we got more money from our television companies, we could be more intelligent. But they don’t give us a lot – it is a joke because we are close to the level of the leagues in Italy and Germany. There is already an attraction to English football because of the money. Now a zero is added to the wages of our young players when they cross the channel and that’s not about to change. The French model must be stronger economically.”
That’s funny because it sort of sounds like he’s blaming everyone else for not doing his job for him.
Other top leagues are having the same struggles, and there’s no easy fix. Most notably, England is having trouble with over-valuation of its domestic players. But for le Graet to simply hurl blame around aimlessly comes across as pretty weak.