France’s Ligue 1 asks for £173MILLION loan to keep clubs from going under after TV broadcasters refuse to pay their £211m fee following the early cancellation of the football season
- French prime minister Edouard Philippe has cancelled the Ligue 1 campaign
- As a result, television companies have pulled the plug on their 2019-20 deals
- It leaves the bast majority of the French top flight in genuine financial difficulty
Ligue 1 has asked for a £173million loan to prevent clubs going bust after it was revealed as many as 17 clubs are in danger of folding after the 2019-20 season was cancelled.
Canal+ has terminated its TV contract for the season, while beIN Sports has frozen payments since the league was suspended in March.
The decision comes after the announcement made by French prime minister Edouard Philippe on Monday evening that the campaign would not be allowed to resume.
Ligue 1 clubs are facing severe financial difficulties with TV broadcasting cash being withheld
Any remote possibility of bringing the season to some form of a climax has been effectively ended by the actions of the television companies.
It leaves teams trying to fill a financial black hole of £211m, an amount that leaves almost the entire league in real danger of financial ruin.
Some of the biggest clubs in France, including Marseille, Lille and Saint Etienne, are all facing monetary woes as a result of broadcasters pulling the plug.
Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco and Lyon are the only three clubs believed to be in a position to weather the losses, although all three have been putting pressure on their playing squads to accept either wage cuts or deferrals.
Canal+ have cancelled their contract for the 2019-20 season, leaving the league out of pocket
The government has agreed to guarantee up to 90 per cent of the loans being sought by the league, according to one club director.
Bernard Caizzo – the joint owner of Saint-Etienne is leading the clubs discussions in how to handle the current predicament, and revealed that, with the government help, they are looking for a loan of €200m (£173m) to fill the void left by the lost broadcast revenue.
Clubs may also recieve relief in the form of the 40 per cent tax on player wages being waived, while they can also agree to a 70 per cent wage deferral for players, according to the New York Times.