By Ollie Irish
There always was a whiff of the revolutionary about King Eric. No ordinary footballer, he; not one to follow the well-travelled path into management or punditry. Instead Cantona gravitated towards the arts, acting in serious movies, which made perfect sense – he was the most artistic, the most poetic footballer of his generation, after all. And his charisma: off the charts. There is more mystery in Cantona’s ear hair than in Alan Shearer’s entire body.
Cantona’s latest project is a call, not to arms but to a more radical protest against the banking sector. In an interview with local newspaper Presse Océan, the former Man Utd star urged anti-bank protesters simply to withdraw their money from the banks. A grainy video of the interview has proved a viral hit on YouTube:
“I don’t think we can be entirely happy seeing such misery around us. Unless you live in a pod. But then there is a chance… there is something to do. Nowadays what does it mean to be on the streets? To demonstrate? You swindle yourself. Anyway, that’s not the way any more.
“We don’t pick up weapons to kill people to start the revolution. The revolution is really easy to do these days. What’s the system? The system is built on the power of the banks. So it must be destroyed through the banks.
“This means that the three million people with their placards on the streets, they go to the bank and they withdraw their money and the banks collapse. Three million, 10 million people, and the banks collapse and there is no real threat. A real revolution.
“We must go to the bank. In this case there would be a real revolution. It’s not complicated; instead of going on the streets and driving kilometres by car you simply go to the bank in your country and withdraw your money, and if there are a lot of people withdrawing their money the system collapses. No weapons, no blood, or anything like that.”
Cantona’s words have struck a chord, it seems, with at least one campaign urging people to withdraw their money from banks as part of a mass coordinated protest. Could Cantona become a 21st-century Che? Much stranger things have happened. He certainly looks the part these days.