LFP taking collaborative approach as it looks to complete season
The LFP, the French professional soccer league, is taking action to ensure stability across the top two divisions during the current coronavirus emergency.
The league held a teleconference on Tuesday, involving the presidents and vice-presidents of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs and French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët, to discuss the current situation.
Like other leagues across Europe, the two divisions are presently suspended amid the pandemic.
The LFP board unanimously reiterated the desire to complete the 2019-20 season by 30 June, with a possible extension to 15 July, if conditions allow, and the council is supporting government initiatives that will enable athletes to resume training as soon as possible.
The prolongation of the season has been made possible by the postponement of the 2020 Uefa European Championships until 2021.
Last week, LFP president Nathalie Boy de la Tour claimed that, all being well, matches could resume around 15 April although this would be subject to review, and is widely seen as optimistic in the current climate.
The league welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the government of state financial support for companies, in the context of the short-term cash flow problems of its clubs.
The LFP and the DNCG, the organisation responsible for monitoring and overseeing the accounts of French soccer clubs, are working in unison to address their needs.
Meanwhile, the LFP is pressing for a common position in discussions between the clubs and the UNFP, the French players’ union, with the LFP bureau to “be the steering committee for all the actions and reflections undertaken by professional football to deal with this crisis.”
With this in mind, three working groups are being created: recovery plans and scenarios; short-term cash flow and financing; and social dialogue.
In a statement, the LFP said: “At a time of general mobilisation, the LFP Bureau is calling on all the players in the professional football ecosystem - clubs, players, coaches and also broadcasters - to show their unity and solidarity in order to get through this unprecedented crisis.”