Ligue 1 – Before Toulouse-PSG: The TFC no longer wants to leave the field open to “Footix”

Footix, nm: “A pejorative term, designating a fickle and opportunistic football fan, supporting a team because of its very good results, its great popularity and/or the fame of the players who play there; in contrast, the traditional supporter claims loyalty to a single club, to which he is attached for reasons of territorial proximity, family heritage, etc. This definition does not come from Laroussenor of Little Robert, nor any other dictionary. But we couldn’t find anything better to try to describe, somehow, an expression that comes up very often when it comes to football and the way everyone decides to live it.

Qualified in this way in reference to the famous mascot of the 1998 World Cup, the “Footix” would therefore be an occasional consumer of matches, reserving itself for major events or big bills. Above all, it would migrate with the wind and the trends indicated by the ranking. He followed OM in the early 1990s, became passionate about Greater Lyon in the 2000s. Then, since the takeover of PSG by QSI, he only has eyes for the capital club and its swarm. of stars, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani yesterday, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi today. These last three will also be performing at the Stadium in Toulouse, this Wednesday (9 p.m.).

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For a long time, the Haut-Garonne enclosure was particularly welcoming for these one-night spectators, reluctant to support the TFC but eager to see prestigious players up close. It must be said that all the elements were there: a densely populated agglomeration (approximately 800,000 inhabitants), a local club arousing too much indifference to attract more than its most loyal supporters, a stadium large enough to find a place on gala days … And, on arrival, spans more red and blue than purple during the last Toulouse – PSG.

Rafael Ratao (Toulouse) against Lorient, Sunday August 22, 2022. / Ligue 1

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A number of subscribers up 225%

But something tells us that this will not be the case on Wednesday evening, on the occasion of the fifth day of Ligue 1. First of all because the club from the Pink City has almost nothing to do with this team moribund and devitalized fallen in Ligue 2 in 2020. Since then, Téf ‘has been bought by an American investment fund (Red Bird Capital Partners). Damien Comolli, the new president, was quick to reach out to Toulouse supporters, who were in conflict with the previous management. The dialogue was renewed and as, on the ground, the victories followed one another, a new dynamic was created.

Last season, Philippe Montanier’s band – then in Ligue 2 – filled their stadium with plenty of crowds, recording crowds that had nothing to envy to those of other Ligue 1 teams. Against Paris FC, early April , the Stadium was even sold out. And throughout the summer, executives saw subscriber numbers grow, which jumped 225% from the 2021-22 total, surpassing the historic 10,000 mark. According to the last count, there would be more than 13,000 holders of a precious sesame, allowing them to attend all the meetings of the coming financial year.

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These faithful more and more numerous, the club intends to pamper them. Thus, the Toulouse-PSG ticket office was first opened to groups of supporters, then to subscribers, who had the opportunity to buy additional tickets to please their loved ones. “Our players need to evolve in front of an audience that encourages them, not with an audience that comes to the opera”explained to AFP Olivier Jaubert, the director general of the TFC.

People who attended Ligue 2 matches the previous season then had the right, in turn, to select tickets. “People who came to see Toulouse-Dunkirk, Toulouse-Quevilly or Toulouse-Niort are people who fundamentally love the club and the game we play today”says the Toulouse leader, before adding: “These people, we have to thank them and how better to do it than by saying to them: ‘You are among the first to have the opportunity to buy tickets for what will be perhaps the peak of the season at the Stadium’.”

In the end, by the time the box office opened to the general public, there were only 3,000 tickets left. The most expensive, necessarily, which did not fail to react to some disgruntled people on social networks. All the places have nevertheless found takers and this device could be renewed on the occasion of the reception of OM (weekend of February 19), an opponent generally attracting a cloud of sky and white at the Stadium. “Some teams have an audience almost everywhere in France, recognizes Olivier Jaubert. The risk, if you do not favor your supporters, is that your stadium will not be in the colors of your club. Wednesday evening, already, we will see if the purple wins in the stands.

Toulouse supporters against Lorient, August 21, 2022. / Ligue 1

Credit: Getty Images

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