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French league asks government for financial rescue plan

PARIS – The French soccer league will ask the government to define a rescue plan, amid the heavy losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of its television rights contract.

Following a meeting of its board of directors on Tuesday, the LFP requested an urgent meeting with government agencies. Through a statement, he warned that “to date, the losses already represent more than 1,000 million euros.”

The urgent request arises despite the fact that the league has obtained a new agreement with Canal Plus for the diffusion of the games of the two top divisions during the remainder of the season. The agreement with Canal Plus was signed after the agreement with the Spanish company Mediapro collapsed.

 

Total revenue is € 759 million ($ 920 million), up from the € 1.3 billion ($ 1.58 billion) originally budgeted by clubs for the 2020-21 financial year, the league said.

 

According to the LFP, these losses in television revenue, combined with the impact of games played without fans due to the pandemic, will further damage the financial health of the clubs. He indicated that the losses exceed 1,200 million dollars.

The 100 million euros (121 million euros) for professional clubs, already adopted by the French government, are not enough for these teams to survive the crisis, the league warned.

 

He called for a meeting with officials from the sports and finance ministries. The league said it is not asking the government to compensate it for the drop in television revenues.

“The clubs have already made great efforts to adapt to this serious drop in income, through salary negotiations with the players and reforms that are being prepared to guarantee the future,” said the LFP.

 

“However, it is essential that the state is involved to help professional clubs and their shareholders overcome the emergencies that the COVID-19 crisis has generated.”

Under the terms of the agreement with Canal Plus, the media group has exclusive rights to all the first division games and eight second division games, from the 25th date, which begins this weekend.

 

Financial details were not disclosed, but different versions in France claim that Canal Plus paid 200 million euros ($ 242 million) for the rest of the season.

The agreement with Mediapro would have exceeded 4,000 million euros (4,800 million dollars) for four years for the two main leagues, but it was undone after just four months of validity.

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