a Ligue 1 with 20 approved clubs, Amiens and Toulouse pulled down

Despite the Cabinet’s recommendations, the L1 and L2 clubs voted almost 75% against having a first division in 22 clubs. A choice that confirms the relocation of Amiens and Toulouse to the lower level.

Ligue 2 is now closer than ever to Amiens and Toulouse. Meeting in the General Assembly, Tuesday, June 23, the professional clubs in French football have maintained the principle of a Ligue1 to 20 teams, next season, as well as the relegation of the two clubs, almost doomed to resume the road to the recession.

Strengthened on June 9 by the Cabinet decision to suspend relegations and join the Professional Football League (LFP) to study the format of L1, Picards and Toulousains may have to settle for the second division, after a new vote by the authorities for the round ball against them.

In a few days they will have realized that they were isolated in their struggle: successively, the Office of the Professional Football League (LFP), since its board, then finally its general assembly bringing together all professional clubs and families of football, spoke against the organization of a Ligue1 to 22 teams 2020-2021.

On Tuesday, the upholding of the format at 20 clubs was adopted at 74.49% of the vote from the General Assembly, a sign that Amiens, although very active in the media in recent days, has failed to convince enough other teams.

“The only thing that shows this vote is that it is solely the financial interests that make members of the LFP government position themselves against a format at 22, which I regret,” President Joanna Joannes Amiens said in a press release.

A question of big money

The Picard Club, 19e of the championship during the early interruption of the season due to coronavirus, however, had tried until the end to overturn beliefs, offering several calendars that allow to compete the four additional days required by the hypothetical extension of the format.

On Monday, before the General Assembly, Bernard Joannin had even played the sentimental card in a letter addressed to his counterparts, of which AFP received a copy.

“Of course, a championship causes 22 more restrictions. I just say, and like many fantastic characters in French football, that none of them are insurmountable if you have the will to do it in sports law and solidarity, the keywords in French professional football,” the manager wrote.

But the arguments did not seem to hit home with the other clubs, especially anxious not to act an evolution that would shake the de facto distribution of juicy TV rights next season.

Amiens is considering new remedies, on merit

About Toulouse (20e L1), which would buy from US investment company RedBird Capital Partner, remained discreet from beginning to end on this file, Amiens has already promised to use.

The legal loop is therefore likely to start from scratch, until a possible new passage before the Cabinet for interim measures, an opportunity for which Amiens says “ready”.

The club will have a smaller argument to make. In fact, the State Council had suspended relegation in early June because LFP had relied on an outdated League-Federation convention to announce the change of the two clubs by the end of April.

But since then, a new convention has been adopted by the league for next season. And the federation, which is a supporter of sustaining the relegation at all levels of football, must do the same Friday in the federal assembly.

“I now appeal to the members of the FFF Federal Assembly, which also represents amateur football, to refuse to validate this Friday the FFF / LFP Convention which precludes the possibility of a Ligue1 at the 22-season next,” Joannin urged a previous meeting which is synonymous with the ultimate hope before action.

Regardless of what happens with this meeting, it will not prevent Amiens from questioning his relegation during procedures on the merits of the Cabinet to receive compensation. The legal series for the most curious season of French football is still far from the end.

With AFP