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
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
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.