Pierre Prugneau: Initially, the goal was to make a pure player on local football, without becoming an official media, that's why we do not only deal with the OL, but also the clubs of the agglomeration of National and National 2. We also did not want to make a fanzine, but to propose content that we would not find in the PQR, or on another site.
Hugo Helin: Today, we try to structure ourselves to propose at least one pre-game article and a report of each match of the OL. Humorous papers are a little according to the desire. It's not easy with everyone's schedules, but we make sure to publish as regularly as possible.What is the genesis of this site?
PP: It was because I was unemployed, so I did not have much else to do. I was already writing on Rue89 Lyon, a bit in blog mode and without being paid. It was good and I thought we should do more.
"Libero, it involves taking a step back, freedom, but also a vintage side knowing that we do a lot of historical subjects. " Pierre Prugneau
We launched the site in April 2013. At that time, Olympique and Lyonnais were supposed to disappear. It had made me smart, telling me that there was a niche to take, even if it was not the same editorial line. Finally, they were bought by Lyon Capital.Why this name of Libero ?
PP: I did not want a word play "terroir" with "Gone-je-ne-sais-pas-quoi". Libero, it implies taking a step back, freedom, but also a vintage, knowing that we do a lot of historical subjects. Afterwards, it was eventually available in other cities, something that has never been done.
You, Hugo, how did you find yourself in the project?
HH: I met Pierre in a football team at 7, FSGT, shortly before he created the site. Since I often went to see CFA games, I told him that I could help him out. I got involved gradually, then when Pierre was hired in Paris, The Teamhe left me the post of editor.
Is the team made up of journalists? Or there are also amateur contributors?
HH: There are only volunteers. But we are a group of seven or eight guys, exchanging via WhatsApp. We have an economics specialist, others who are more comfortable with the stats …
PP: The idea has always been to do something journalistic. However, the media is not recognized by the press card commission. We tried to pay for freelances for three months until we realized that we were earning 12 euros per month. We had to change strategy, do without news to make more qualitative.
HH: When Pierre was in charge, it was more ' bahulism & bergougnism While today, I'm mostly trying to make humorous articles. We are a bit of a community of thought, we all think more or less the same thing about games, on OL, but I will not refuse a paper if a guy assures me that Lucas Tousart is the sentinel that it is necessary. If it's argued, I take it.
Today, where is the humorous potential of OL?
PP: He is huge. Just take a look at our "Half-lol" section, powered at least once a week.
HH: Since the departure of Bruno Genesio, I had the impression that we had lost something. For several weeks, with Sylvinho, we had not done much. But inevitably, with the latest events, it's back naturally.
"I do not know what the character of Rudi Garcia will become, but for the rest, Jean-Michel Aulas remains a safe bet, Juninho looks like a bob-alter-mondialiste who came to graft in a provincial SME … " Hugo Helin
PP: For example, make the top 3 victories of Sylvinho or the fact that the Lyonnais are the first to get excited about any rebel coming out of the training center, from Fares Bahlouli to Rayane Cherki … You can make fun club quite easily.
HH: I do not know what the character of Rudi Garcia will become, but for the rest, Jean-Michel Aulas remains a safe bet, Juninho looks like a bob-alter-mondialiste who came to graft in a provincial SME … On the terrain, I think there are less funny guys. Either they are not at the level of OL and you do not want to bother you on a guy who should just be in Bordeaux, or they are and do not have so many flaws. There may be just Memphis who, off the field, has a pretty crazy personality, capable of being the best Dutch rapper and heir to Cruyff.
OL also has this stubborn image of "most hated club in France", Just as Lyon is struggling has consensus among non-Lyonnais. That's also part of the strings you pull on?
PP: Lyon has a pretty cold and indefinite image for people outside, it's true. But it's a pretty funny thing to work on.
HH: There is an identity Lyon, but you are in the middle of the country a crossroads that makes all that diffuse. That said, I already find that we are less passionate than in other cities. Hence this possibility to take the distance with a defeat. In Marseille, every game lost, we shout at the arbitration plot … Then, it may be easier to make the valves in a city of culture, bourgeois, student. It makes it easier to laugh at yourself, without offending anyone.
Do you think that the Lyonnais has self-mockery?
PP: With us or the Lyons community on Twitter, yes outright. The Lyonnais is all the more self-derision that he prefers to fuck himself out of his mouth rather than the others who do it.
HH: I think he knows how to handle it, yes, but the Lyonnais is in addition to that susceptible. It comes from the fact that OL is a club that has been in the top 5 for 20 years now. The national media are obliged to talk about it, but the Lyonnais do not have the impression that one speaks about it correctly, that people only see the big matches and base the rest of the time on feelings. At one point, it can cause that feeling.
PP: Finally, it's almost misplaced pride. Even if it can be exasperating, the Lyon community is also very funny.
HH: I was a teenager at the headlines, young man at the beginning of the end and was 25 years old at the Gones Remi Garde. So it must have been all that. Instinctively, when we have known the title every season, we could want OL to always be champion without having too much second degree. While the last title dates from 11 years ago …
"Kops express more exasperation than humor. And then, when you are referenced as a little bourgeois club, you are more likely to assert your identity by being hard than light. " Pierre Prugneau
Are the Lyon bends distinguished by their humor?
HH: I do not feel like they are trying to be. The banner of this weekend on Garcia ("Our patience will be equal to the respect you showed the club: no", N.D.L.R.), it corresponds to what the supporters say, but actually, there is no joke.
PP: I find that they express more exasperation than humor. And then, when you are referenced as a little bourgeois club, you are more likely to assert your identity by being hard than light. We are not the most spoiled at this level, even if from time to time, there are good valves.
HH: It may be the size of the club that wants that too. It's easier to be funny when you're supporting the little club.
You do not care enough about other clubs …
HH: It is surely something rather circumstantial, in the sense that we have enough to make fun of ourselves. After, it happens occasionally. When the Marseillais groaned because they never had a penalty, we had imagined a crowdfunding for the Lyonnais to offer them. We said we had gone there and we had seen the state of disrepair of children who had never seen a penalty. Even here, we come to question.
And with Saint-Étienne?
HH: I am not one of those adult people who say41 + 1" To not say "42As the department of the Loire. I have no problem talking to a Stephanois, my girlfriend is Etienne.
"It's hard to attack Sainte because we're not really in the same world today, without being mean. Sportingly, our rivals are more Marseille, Monaco and PSG. " Hugo Helin
Myself, I grew up in the Loire, in a rather Sainte corner. But my first match at the stadium with my father was France-Brazil in 1997 at Gerland. The first goal I saw was Roberto Carlos' free kick that went around the Barthez wall. And when I had to choose my side, because of my spirit of contradiction and this memory, I decided to support the OL. It's hard to attack Sainte because we're not really in the same world today, without being mean. Sportingly, our rivals are more Marseille, Monaco and PSG. There is little comparison to Saint-Etienne: they have Berić peak and their cult player is Loïc Perrin … We must make the difference.
Would you have known the same success if the site had been launched during the glorious period of OL?
PP: Being there when the team wins, it is more profitable in terms of traffic. Paradoxically, I think we are stronger when the OL is in the hard. Especially since it is in these moments that our "faithful" readers are most eager to read us, but it is the secondary community that makes the audience.
HH: It's not easy to be funny when your club is doing well. When we had cyborgs at each post, it was more complicated. What do you mean about Abidal, Malouda, Govou, technically good guys who run 50 kilometers per game. Well, you could always Coupet, the guy from Haute-Loire, or outings between Brazilians …
PP: We started in a rather favorable period. 2013 is the moment when thisspontaneous generationJuninho's supporters were asserting themselves. These guys were about 20 years old, had a decade of success, and discovered the years of lean cow. The sports project was not on a huge dynamic, the recruitment was not very attractive, and it is a crucial moment for the fans Lyon. Because we had to redefine his identity, because there were happy moments thanks to a team composed of 8 or 9 players trained at the club, because the coaching choices were more discussed … much more interesting to editorialize than when the guys won 9 games out of 10.
A dominance that exerts today the feminine team and which you speak also on your site …
PP: Yes, for a long time and more.
HH: We have a teammate who has specialized on this. He can watch ten matches of OL's future European opponents, beating the Russian championship to find out what Ryazan is worth, knowing that he is looking at the Norwegian championship for his own pleasure. This guy would have his place in a recruiting cell: he can tell you about a South Korean defensive environment.
The articles on this subject are a little less pungent. Why ?
PP: We talk freely about women's football or amateur football, but as these teams enjoy a much lower media treatment, it remains less editorialized. On the men's OL, there is literature, repeats of press conferences, reports posted directly after the matches … It's hard to make a valve on something that people do not know. "Bruno Genesio already wanted us for writing in a report of a game against Rennes that Sergi Darder saw the balloons pass over his head. He had even summoned Peter to his office. " Higo Helin
What are your relationships with the club?
HH: We know we are reading, because Bruno Genesio has already wanted us to have written in a report of a game against Rennes that Sergi Darder saw the balloons pass over his head. He had even summoned Peter to his office.
PP: It was in September 2017, I show up at the training center for the press conference, I enter the amphitheater a little fuzz. I see Genesio staring at me. At the end, the press officer picks me up and says, "Pierre, there is the coach who would like to talk to you.We meet in his office, all three with the press officer.
What did he say?
PP: Genesio tells me, "Are you the Libero Lyon?
– I created it, but I have not worked there for two years.
– Yeah, because you're always fooling us! On the minutes of the game in Rennes, you say that we jump the midfielder is anything …"
In short, for him, it was a match reference, while in fact it was a match hardly convincing. He continues his thing, repeating that "it's hard workThen said to me, "Well, it's not me who reads you, but my son, An argument he has always made concerning Twitter. I do not react because at the moment I'm working forThe Teamand I do not cover the OL, I do not want to put anyone in the doorway. I just propose to do an interview with Hugo to clarify all that. He never followed up. I do not know why he gave so much importance to a site whose audience is ultimately confidential, especially since there was absolutely nothing insulting. When we parted, he told me, "It's intellectual dishonesty and intellectual dishonesty, it always ends up being paid for.It almost looked like a threat, and I thought it was crazy, but to avoid putting oil on the fire, I did not do it. Somehow it showed that our work was being followed, but on the other hand it was a shambles in his handling of media relations.
For several months, your account has disappeared from Twitter. What is this confusing?
PP: One of our community managers, Zeno Zadkine, had made a valve on the Bataclan – which was not necessarily very good – but which did not fall under the law at all. He was signalized en masse. In these cases, Twitter's robots do not necessarily understand: they made the connection between this account and that of the Libero, saying it was the account that Zeno had created to circumvent his suspension. So, they blocked us, whereas it had been created previously …
HH: It's stupid because our account was held seriously and Twitter blew it up at the same time.
You get to "live" without Twitter?
HH: It made things a bit more difficult. Now we share the articles via our personal accounts and we make jokes on Facebook, even if we were more compatible with Twitter.
PP: We could also create a new account, but it also served as an archive with some content that was exclusively on Twitter. Technically, everything is not erased, it's just that nothing is visible outside. We should make an administrative appeal, send letters, etc. But we did not do it.
HH: It's been six months that we try to send them emails and we receive robot responses. So if someone from Twitter reads us: free the Libero!
Interview by Mathieu Rollinger