With the support of the majority of the French professional clubs, the idea of a Ligue 2 to 22 clubs (two elated, none relegated) was rejected by the French Football Association.
No change of tone on the side of “Fed”. Despite the principles of its president Noël Le Graët, the French Football Association (FFF), on Wednesday, May 27, rejected the extension of Ligue 2 to 22 teams, thereby dismissing professional clubs and moving Le Mans and Orleans to National 1.
Supporters adopted the maintenance of campaigns and relegations at all stages of football, amateur as a professional, Le Graët convinced the FFF’s executive commission to oppose this reform, voted a week earlier by a small majority (57% of the vote) of the Professional Football League General Assembly ( LFP).
Although this assembly brings together all the French professional clubs, as well as representatives of all football families, it is truly “Comex” for the FFF, which consists of a dozen leaders for clubs, regional leagues and districts under the head of the federation, which has the ultimate decision-making power.
In fact, he has been empowered, under his general rules and the Convention which binds the federation to the Federation, to make “all decisions except in disciplinary matters,” “to reform them as soon as he considers them in violation of” the best or statutes of football, and and this, although the same convention allows an L2 with up to “twenty-two clubs at most”.
“Unfair and cruel” for Le Mans and Orléans
“The two regulatory descent scheduled for the 2019-2020 season will be maintained and the Ligue 2 Championship will remain at 20 clubs for the 2020-2021 season,” FFF insists in a final call.
This “evocation power” risks signing the end of hope for Le Mans and Orléans 19, respectivelye and 20e of the Second Division at the early stoppage of the championship due to pandemic and who seemed to be the big winners of the reform originally approved by the clubs. Pau and Dunkirk, the head of National 1, for their part are well and truly promoted in Ligue 2.
In a joint press release, the Le Mans and Orleans clubs announced that they had taken note of this refusal and said they were “disappointed” with an “unfair and cruel decision”.
If the expansion to 22 teams had been validated, these two teams would have been an exception in French football, as they were the only relegation in their division not to experience a decline to the lower level in France.
And this had not avoided other disappointments from other ways to stop the championships, such as Toulouse or Lyon in L1.
The president of Toulouse, Olivier Sadran, had thus raised the existence of “two different rules”, in remarks reported by the daily L’Équipe. And his Lyonnais counterpart, Jean-Michel Aulas, raised “a problem with equity” and provided “many arguments” in favor of the legal appeals filed by the Olympics. Many amateur clubs have also filed appeals to question their relegation.
By its decision, FFF seems to reduce the legal scope for these disgruntled clubs. But it could be the start of other proceedings if Le Mans or Orleans will question their relegation to court.
“We will now meet with our advisors to consider the follow-up to this decision,” said the two clubs.
On the other hand, the question of possible roadblocks between L2 and National 1, argued by the Boulogne-sur-Mer Club, 3e of the third division, was not mentioned by FFF. The League (LFP) has also not decided on this, although play-offs and play-offs between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 have been canceled. Which may mediate other actions.