Jérôme Perlemuter, Secretary General of World Leagues Forum “All skills are needed in football management”

Africa FootGoal : Hello Mr. Perlemuter, what do you think of the Africa FootGoal initiative?

Jérôme Perlemuter : I would like to congratulate this organization. I find it to be a very nice conference. On the theme for which I was invited, which is governance, I find that the composition of the panel was particularly well chosen since we had representatives of the public authorities with the Minister, we had representatives of FIFA, representatives of professional leagues and I think that allowed us to have a very rich exchange on the way in which African football is governed today, in which it tries to find ways of development, and how to trace a rich economic future.

Africa FootGoal : We would like to hear your opinion on the issue of pay equity between men and women. What do you think ?

Jérôme Perlemuter : I think pay equity is a very difficult issue. Why, because there is a huge difference today in the economic impact of women’s football and men’s football. So economically they do not weigh the same and that is why this question is difficult because we want to answer that it is normal for a man and a woman who do the same job to earn the same amount but today, unfortunately it is not possible to answer that way in football. I think what we have to say to ourselves is that in the long term we will respond to it that way, but we must first encourage the development of women’s football, sport and economic development, and then achieve this objective. But maybe putting the goal before the means is not a good way to pose the problem. So I hope we will get there, in any case I wish we get there, but I think that to get there you have to go through the stage of developing women’s football. There are a lot of things that have been done, there is still a long way to go. We have just launched a study for the professional elite on how women’s football is structured, how it is developing, and I hope we can deliver our conclusions very soon.

Africa FootGoal: We would like to know what you think of those who say today that football should be run by ex-footballers because these people say that ex-footballers have a better grasp of the issues of football today?

Jérôme Perlemuter : It’s like saying that laws can only be made by jurists, etc. It is this philosophy that it is essential to know a specific area very precisely in order to be able to make decisions. But in this case, you know I was a judge in France, and sometimes I judged cases that did not necessarily concern my area of expertise, whether it was cases on pharmacies, whether it was cases on heavy industry, well we still have to judge them. I think what is needed is diversity, that is to say that you need footballers, it’s obvious, you need lawyers, you need economists, you need to have all the skills to achieve effective governance and decision-making. So in conclusion you need all the skills including obviously those of footballers.

Africa FootGoal: Do you know how many licensees are there currently in Africa?

Jérôme Perlemuter : I don’t have the number of licensees in Africa at all. I’d love to have it, but that’s not a question I’m capable of answering. It would be necessary to question the federations which themselves manage the licenses and to add up all the licenses. I think that by country it will be the federations that will have the numbers. We as professional leagues unfortunately don’t have that figure.

Africa FootGoal: Do you have an idea of these statistics in Europe?

Jérôme Perlemuter : In Europe I can tell you that the country with the most licensees is Germany and that France is in second position. As for the exact number of licensees, I don’t know it off the top of my head, but I know that in Germany we have several million and in France I prefer not to give you an inaccurate figure. For Germany it is 7 million.

Africa FootGoal: Thank you very much Mr. Perlemuter. It was a pleasure to have you with us. See you soon.