International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 07 January 2013

Round Table " Le football professionnel est-il viable en Suisse?"

Dear followers,

You are cordially invited to the round table entitled «Le football professionnel est-il viable en Suisse?», which is part of a series of conferences dedicated to the centenary of the Neuchâtel Xamax Football club. The seminar is co-organised by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), the University of Neuchâtel and the Museum of Art and History of the city of Neuchâtel :

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 18:30 (free entrance)

Museum of Art and History, 1st floor

Esplanade Leopold-Robert 1

2000 Neuchâtel


Football in Switzerland seems to be in reasonable health, as evidenced by the latest study by the CIES Football Observatory (Swiss Football Study which you can download by clicking this link). Indeed, it is clear from this report that more and more educated youth footballers in our country are exported to the major European leagues. Switzerland, therefore, has a certain ability to form and / or develop young talent. But behind this idyllic image lurks  a darker reality, as evidenced by the numerous bankrupt clubs, which have been widely reported in the media. Indeed, in a European context globalized Swiss football is, financially speaking, the figure of Tom Thumb.

Therefore, what conclusions can be drawn on Swiss football? Is it really viable or is it a utopia gone today? It is on this issue that we will discuss the various factors in the round table. Present will be former players and coaches, as well as renowned figures like Gilbert Gress, Christian Binggeli, Edmond Isoz and Philippe Perret. Raffaele Poli, Head of CIES Football Observatory will moderate the debate.


Brief bibliography of the participants:

Mr. Christian Binggeli (President of Neuchâtel Xamax 1912)

Christian Binggeli grew up in Neuchâtel and decided in early 2012 to take the reins of the football club Neuchatel.

Mr. Gilbert Gress (former coach of Neuchatel Xamax, TV consultant)

Gilbert Gress was first a professional football player between 1959 and 1977 in various clubs in France, such as RC Strasbourg and Olympique Marseille, before defending the red and black colors of Neuchâtel in 1975. He devoted himself thereafter to a coaching career, which led him to collaborate with various clubs for over 30 years, including 12 years with Neuchâtel Xamax, between 1975 and 1977, 1981 to 1990 and between 1994 and 1997. He was also the coach of the national team between 1998 and 1999. He is currently a consultant for Swiss German television.

Mr. Edmond Isoz (Senior Manager, Swiss Football League)

Edmond Isoz is a former professional football player who defended the colours of various teams in Switzerland, like the FC Sion between 1973 and 1981. In 1993 he joined the Swiss Football League, where he now holds the overall coordination of all activities.

Mr. Philippe Perret (former player Neuchâtel Xamax, coach FC Bienne)

Philippe Perret is a former Swiss international footballer. He remains today one of the most iconic Neuchâtel Xamax players. He holds the record for the highest number of games played (20 seasons). He also wore the jersey of the national team on 13 occasions between 1983 and 1988. Since June 2008 he has been the coach of FC Biel.

Mr. Raffaele Poli ( Head of CIES Football Observatory)

Raffaele Poli studied geography, ethnology and sociology. He holds a Ph.D. in humanities from the universities of Neuchâtel and Franche-Comté. He is now the Head of the CIES Observatory and lecturer at the Institute of Geography of the University of Neuchâtel.


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