Why is Ligue 1 in financial trouble?
Beyond the impact of COVID-19 on matchday revenue, Ligue 1’s finances were significantly damaged when its broadcast partner, Mediapro, stopped paying instalments on its annual TV rights deal.
This led to immense pressure on auctioning off television rights for the 2021-24 seasons.
A temporary resolution has been found to solve the domestic broadcast crisis as the Professional Football league agreed a deal for Canal+ to show Ligue 1 and 2 matches for the rest of the season.
What did Eyraud say?
Eyraud stressed that the current financial and scheduling pressures are immense on French football and that is “not sustainable enough”.
He said: “There is a growing feeling, certainly in France, that nowadays having a league with 20 clubs is probably too much.”
Speaking on the broadcast collapse he added: “It was quite a drama really. And i would say most if not all stakeholders in the game were comfortable with Mediapro running the show and becoming the first and foremost broadcaster. Nobody expected this going two months into the season.”
He also claimed Ligue 1’s broadcasting rights should be on par with Serie A.
“There could be a question as to why Ligue 1 is trailing Serie A,” he said.
“I don’t think Ligue should be undervalued when you compare it with Serie A. The English Premier League and Ligue 1 are in a league of their own.”
Is it realistic?
Reducing the number of teams in Ligue 1 would undoubtedly help to alleviate economic losses as well as reducing fixture congestion. The idea has been previously suggested by Vincent Labrune, the head of the LFP.
Convincing teams towards the bottom of the table to vote in favour of a proposal that would make it more difficult for them to remain in the top-flight will prove exceptionally challenging, however.