Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a politician who was a long-standing member of the European Parliament, says that football has been transformed by the coronavirus pandemic and that stars such as Kylian Mbappe will now be worth a fraction of their previous asking prices.
Mbappe had been linked with a move away from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, with suggestions that the transfer fee could reach up to €300 million (£260m/$326m).
The Covid-19 pandemic, however, will transform the face of the game, according to the left-wing former MEP, who says that when sport restarts, it will do so amid a very different landscape.
“This crisis will clean up the irrationality of professional sport. It’s like there was a nuclear attack and it had to be rebuilt, but on other grounds,” he told Ouest France.
“Tomorrow, Mbappe will cost at most €35-40m and no longer €200m. And who can buy him?
“There will be de facto regulation. Going even further on a salary cap could be necessary. It is a reorganisation that goes not only through the players' salaries, but also through the right to images and publicity. We have to break the system of managers, of those who do business.”
Cohn-Bendit believes this could be a positive thing in the long term.
“A little more sobriety is enough for me,” he said. “A little more sobriety and a little more equality would be a good start. Footballers will not play worse if they are paid less.”
He believes that it could see sport as a whole return to its core values, starting with the Olympic Games, which are due to take place in Paris in 2024 after Tokyo 2020 was pushed back a year owing to the world health crisis.
“Whenever there is a referendum on the Olympic Games, people always say no,” he said, referring to the 2024 Olympiad in France. “Today, people watch the Olympics but don't want that at home.
“It is necessary to rethink the gigantism of the Olympic Games and to return to more simplicity.
“How? I don’t know. It depends on us, the fans.”
Football in France, like Europe’s other major countries, is currently frozen with no clear indication on when or if the current Ligue 1 season will be completed.