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Old School Raymond

Domenech's last-ditch stand ?

By Matthieu Boisseau

Fortunately for the French Football Federation's leaders (FFF), looking a fool never killed anyone. Otherwise former French team coach Raymond Domenech would have been guilty of murdering his superiors. In 2008, they turned a blind eye to France's monumentally rotten display at Euro 2008 by allowing him to continue in charge of the team. A catastrophic initiative, as it lead to last summer's three miserable performances and the ill-timed mutiny at the World Cup. Two years later, as they decided to fire him from his position as technical director of the French Football Federation, “The Butcher” (Domenech's nickname when he was a player) lodged a complaint with an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal ! He is now demanding  a compensation of over £2.5m from the French Football Federation (FFF). A double knife stuck in his employer's back...who may have deserved it...


What justified Domenech's dismissal ?


In the FFF's President Fernand Duchaussoy's words, Domenech “tarnished France's image” by making three "grave errors" at the World Cup :


  1. Failing to properly handle the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka from the squad. The Chelsea player was sent home by Domenech after he insulted the coach during the half time of France's 2-0 loss to Mexico. But the federation criticized Domenech for omitting to immediately tell the federation's then-president Jean-Pierre Escalettes about Anelka's tirade. An example among other, of Domenech's disastrous sense of communication.

  2. Reading a letter from the players explaining their shameful boycott to the media. The letter, which sought to justify their boycott of a practice session,  was received with horror by the French public. Even worse, Domenech was then considered party to the strike.

  1. Refusing to shake the hand of South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira after France's loss in its final group match. Parreira said that one of France's assistant coaches had told him afterwards that Domenech resented the Brazilian for supposedly declaring his team didn't deserve to be at the World Cup, following Thierry Henry's "shameful" hand ball which helped France beat Ireland in a playoff in November. This reaction was all the more ridiculous as Parreira denied these quotes later. But would Domenech be reproached for this rude behaviour if he had won the World Cup ? Of course not. This is why it turns out to be a convoluted pretext rather than an objective wrong-doing.


Domenech's shameful refusal to shake Parreira's hand.
Domenech's shameful refusal to shake Parreira's hand.


How did the FFF react ?


The federation has since said that it is not surprised by Domenech's decision, which is normal procedure when an employee plans to contest his sacking. Moreover, given the former coach's provocative personality, the complaint was probably anticipated by the FFF's President Fernand Duchaussoy when he chose to refuse any out-of-court settlement by sending Domenech a lay-off letter. Nevertheless, he couldn't help make a statement saying that "The amount Mr. Domenech is asking for in severance is extravagant and constitutes another provocation".


Domenech's last-ditch stand ?


"There is no acrimony [in this complaint]" claimed Domench's lawyer, Jean-Yves Connesson, before explaining: "Monsieur Domenech is simply surprised that there was a political decision taken by the federation, which is separate and in defiance of their code of conduct, to allocate personal responsibility for a collective crisis. Considering the extremely harsh conditions and the seniority of my client, we will demand a first payment for 400,000 Euros including compensation for dismissal. The second is for professional and moral prejudice and is worth three years salary," Connesson told AFP. The fact is that Domenech, whose reputation could not be more tarnished, knows that he has nothing to loose at the trial : if he cannot save face any more, at least he will preserve his bank account. He has also pointed out the fact that the FFF obviously tried to make him the scapegoat for the World Cup epic fail.



Domenech reads a letter from the players explaining their boycott to the media

What will be the verdict at the trial ?


It seems that the three “serious errors” Domanech is charged with are not so heinous nas to justify his dismissal. As  the sports lawyer, Stéphane Bacrie,  explained perfectly in an article in France Soir : “No matter what happens, Raymond Domenech will benefit from this disagreement and receive substantial financial compensation”.

In other words, the FFF is now facing a seemingly unsolvable dilemma: Dot hey decide to maintain their dismissal, in which case they will probably lose and have to pay an exorbitant compensation to Domenech at the end of a what will certainly be a long and undignified process. Or do they find a way of settling discreetly out of court with Domenech. That would be the most sensible choice, as the FFF would officially keep its “uncompromising” image, and Domenech will no longer have to register at the Employment Pole (he did it on the end of September) to receive the unemployment benefit ! Poor Raymond...

In conclusion, the Road to redemption and honour will undoubtedly be long and torturous for French Football, as disgraceful conflicts are still shattering the FFF.  Icing on the cake , the players stand accused of breaking the promise they had made to refuse any financial rewards related to their (catastrophic) performance in South Africa (for more information, click here). It will definitely be necessary for Laurent Blanc to have an unwavering morale !

Last but not least. A song by Catherine Ringer, the founder and co-leader of the French music band Les Rita Mitsouko, which will delight all Domenech's fans...WE LOVE YOU RAYMOND !



26/05/2012 - brian said :

Psychologie et performance en e9quipe de France ?Je suis irtenvenu de nombreuses fois aupre8s de joueurs en Bundesliga, je participe e0 l'organisation de la performance aupre8s de structures de tre8s haut niveau, je donne des confe9rences sur le management d'e9quipe . mais pas en France . Vous savez pourquoi ? Par ce qu'en France nous sommes des pre9tentieux intellos, des intriguants qui pratiquent le copinage, des pantouflards qui prote8gent leurs pre9s carre9s en attendant voile0 ce que je fais au quotidien et parfois avec des joueurs qui nous mettent des buts !!!! Un des rf4les du psychologue du sport consiste e0 : ame9liorer les performances sportives des athle8tes en agissant sur diffe9rents facteurs tant individuels que sociaux au moyen de diffe9rentes techniques d'intervention. Les sports collectifs ont la particularite9 d'inte9grer e0 la fois les facteurs individuels et les facteurs sociaux, ce qui n'est pas le cas des sports individuels. Les principaux facteurs individuels sont : la personnalite9 la motivation le niveau d'activation, le stress et l'anxie9te9 la concentration la confiance en soi Les principaux facteurs sociaux sont : la coope9ration entre les membres du groupe la dynamique de groupe la cohe9sion du groupe le leadership Pour agir sur ces facteurs, diffe9rentes techniques d'intervention peuvent eatre utilise9es : la relaxation, la formulation d'objectifs, l'imagerie mentale, le monologue interne et une multitude d'autres outils. Le psychologue du sport peut aussi intervenir aupre8s des sportifs blesse9s en les aidant e0 re9cupe9rer plus rapidement. Il apportera un soutien psychologique durant la convalescence de l'athle8te et e9galement, au moment de la reprise de la compe9tition par celui-ci. En outre, il acce9le9rera la re9e9ducation physique du blesse9 en apprenant e0 celui-ci e0 utiliser l'imagerie mentale. Cette dernie8re permettra au joueur blesse9 d'eatre actif psychologiquement avant et pendant la re9e9ducation physique. Certaines dimensions psychologiques (confiance en soi, motivation, concentration, etc.) susceptibles d'influencer la performance sportive peuvent eatre e9value9es au moyen de tests comple9te9s d'entretiens individuels.Efficacite9 de la psychologie du sportAinsi, la psychologie du sport est avant tout une science. En conse9quence, son efficacite9 est prouve9e scientifiquement. Les diffe9rents outils utilise9s, par exemple, pour ame9liorer les performances des sportifs ont e9te9 teste9s et leur efficacite9 a e9te9 de9montre9e scientifiquement. La de9marche scientifique exige une approche syste9matique de l'e9tude d'une question, le contrf4le des conditions, est empirique et critique.Clairement, le de9bat concernant l'efficacite9 de la psychologie du sport est de9passe9.Madame Yade, quand allons nous enfin prendre en compte la dimenssion psychologique du sport et de l'activite9 physique ? Quand allons nous cessez de faire de l'intellectualisme au lieu d'eatre pragmatique ? Croyez vous que le muscle est autonome ? plus le muscle est faible plus il commande, plus il est fort plus il obe9it oui mais e0 qui ? Et puis maintenant que la de9faite nous consomme tous un peu, comment allons nous reconstruire, re9organiser, rede9finir ? Un de vos colle8gue parlait d'identite9 nationale, un de9bat ? des valeurs ? des chartes ? Madame Yade vous eates au coeur de l'identite9 nationale vous avez entre vos mains l'unite9 black blanc beur de 1998 il n'est pas utile de vouloir politiser cette de9marche.Le sport et le maintien de la condition physique est le nouveau challenge des 10 prochaines anne9es, comme l'est l'e9cologie qui aujourd'hui est au coeur de toutes nos pre9occupations. La sante9 publique passera par la re9education sportive de masse afin de contrf4ler les de9rives et disfonctionnements alimentaires qui de9truisent notre jeunesse et pulve9risent les de9penses de sante9 publique. Nous pouvons re9ussir ensemble ce challenge re9unificateur e0 condition de l'e9largir, de ne pas le circoncir seulement au football. Regardez l'impact et le sentiment de fierte9 des Frane7ais quand notre magnifique e9quipe de Biathlon brillait pendant les jeux pourtant ils ne sont qu'une poigne9e de pratiquants faute de moyens financiers et structurels. Alors oui madame Yade le chantier est immense mais vous avez le pouvoir de donner le permis de construire ou reconstruire, j'ai l'envie de vous voir donner cet e9lan et marquer de votre empreinte ce ministe8re comme aucun de vos pre9de9cesseurs. Je suis pre8s e0 vous aider quand commene7ons nous ?????

08/11/2010 - boisseaufamille said :

personnellement il ne ma manquera pas !


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