It’s been two weeks since the last Ligue 1 match and according to Bernard Caïazzo, French football may not return until June 15.
Caïazzo, who is the president of the AS Saint-Étienne supervisory board and president of the Premier League union, recently gave an interview to France Bleu Saint-Étienne Loire where he spoke about the impact the coronavirus crisis will have on Ligue 1 and the clubs.
According to Caïazzo, if Ligue 1 is canceled, the substantial loss of revenue will be so great that clubs may not be able to recover. That’s why he believes the league must be completed even if the games go well into the summer.
“It is necessary to finish the championship at all costs. Even if it means ending the exercise in July-August, and resuming in stride.”
The Frenchman also cast a dark shadow over many clubs in Ligue 1 who he believes could be forced into bankruptcy because of the coronavirus.
“Currently, all of the clubs lose around €250 million a month. And we cannot play until the curve is reversed. That is to say in July-August, at best on June 15.”
“I am very, very, very worried about all the clubs. Without state aid, within six months, half of the pro clubs will file for bankruptcy. The five major European championships have already lost €4 billion, the French championship between €500 million to €600 million.”
Caïazzo continues by describing the financial situation in detail and how the upcoming transfer window could be catastrophic for clubs who depend on revenue from player sales.
“The difference between the general economy and football is the big wages. And partial unemployment is €6,000 maximum. There are not many footballers who earn €6,000. Behind, it is the clubs that will have to pay. And currently, they have no more revenue.”
“There is also the possibility of giving paid holidays. Regarding AS Saint-Étienne, we must also have a meeting at the very beginning of this week. But this problem is true for all clubs. And if we want to get by, we have to find collective answers.”
“Then there will be no transfer window. Our neighbors will not have the resources to buy players this summer. However, Ligue 1 clubs are counting on sales by the end of June. Not to mention the €170 million in fewer TV rights, and the shortfall in the box office for clubs.”
Paris Saint-Germain are uniquely positioned to overcome the loss in revenue from Ligue 1 being suspended given their ties to Qatar through the organization Qatar Sports Investments. The club also has sponsorship deals that dwarf what the other clubs in the top flight of French football are able to secure.
However, what good is it for PSG to be financially stable while the other French clubs crumble around them?
According to L’Equipe, a small committee, which includes PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has been formed to try and come up with solutions to the economic issues facing Ligue 1 due to the coronavirus.
Whether executives can come up with a solution or not, I think it’s safe to say that the financial world of football will be drastically different over the next few seasons.
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