Ligue 1's 2020-21 season 'WILL start on August 23'

Ligue 1’s 2020-21 season ‘WILL start on August 23’ after current season was curtailed and PSG were awarded the title… with Ligue 2 starting a day earlier

  • The French government cancelled the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season last month 
  • PSG were declared champions while Amiens and Toulouse were relegated 
  • Yet a start date for the French 2020-21 season has now reportedly been set 
  • However, the LFP are still waiting for UEFA’s plans for European competitions 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A date of Sunday August 23 has reportedly been set for the start of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season, after the current season was cancelled by the French government. 

PSG were declared the champions this year after the 2019-20 season was curtailed last month due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

While protocol at the time stated that professional sports in France could not return before September, French outlet RMC Sport believe the August date has been set, with a reformed Ligue 2 starting a day earlier on August 22. 

Kylian Mbappe’s PSG were awarded the Ligue 1 title this season after the league was cancelled

PSG celebrate their 2019 league victory with celebrations for this year’s win on hold 

The new published dates have, according to the report, been agreed in accordance with broadcasters Médiapro, Canal + and beIN Sports. 

This week, French football league clubs voted in favour of expanding Ligue 2 to include 22 teams for the 2020-21 season. 

Though the change still needs to be approved by the French Football Federation (LFP), it would mean the bottom two in the second tier – Orleans and Le Mans – are saved from relegation, while Pau and Dunkerque, the top two in the third division, still come up.

French clubs have voted in favour of Ligue 2 becoming a 22-team division from next season

Promotion and relegation will be maintained between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 on a two-up, two-down basis, and Ligue 1 would remain a 20-team competition. 

In terms of next season, the LFP are holding off on confirming the proposed start date until a calendar is published by UEFA for the completion of European competitions this season.

Lyon are set to miss out on the Champions League next season after an appeal was rejected 

Both the Champions League and the Europa League are in the last-16 stage, and reported plans state that UEFA intends to finish the competitions in August, after domestic leagues have finished their seasons.  

Meanwhile, on Friday, a French judge rejected appeals by Olympique Lyonnais, Amiens and Toulouse over the decision to end the season early amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The LFP’s decision to end the season with 10 games remaining meant that Lyon failed to qualify for Europe through the Ligue 1 standings while Amiens and Toulouse were relegated.  

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Cesc Fabregas fears Ligue 1 season was cancelled too early

‘Maybe it was taken a little too soon’: Cesc Fabregas fears Ligue 1 season was cancelled too early as Europe’s top leagues ramp up restart plans

  • Cesc Fabregas fears that the Ligue 1 season may have been cancelled too soon 
  • Last month, the French government banned all football until September 
  • Meanwhile, action is set to resume in Germany and potentially England too
  • Fabregas understands the health risks but felt the decision was made too early
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Cesc Fabregas has revealed his thoughts on the Ligue 1 season being ended, as the Monaco star expressed that the decision to end the season may have been made too early. 

Last month, the French government announced that football would be banned until September due to the threat of the coronavirus, which has taken a total of 26,310 lives in the country. 

The decision meant that Paris Saint Germain were crowned champions, having held a 12 point lead before play was brought to a close, while Amiens and Toulouse were relegated from the top flight. 

Cesc Fabregas says that the decision to end the French season may have been made too early

The French government announced in April a ban on football, making PSG Ligue 1 champions

It was a momentous call given that the Premier League are pressing on with plans to ensure that Project Restart gets underway, while the Bundesliga will make a return on May 16.  

And Fabregas, whose Monaco side sat in ninth place, feels that the decision may have been taken prematurely.  

‘It was a big decision that was made and I can understand why they took it,’ he told beIN SPORTS. ‘But maybe it was taken a little too soon, considering a lot of the big league are still all trying to resume.

The call may have been hasty, with football set to return in Germany and potentially England

‘Although I completely understand the meaning behind it and it’s better to be safe in all accounts, because the most important is the families and the health security of everyone and support this 100 per cent.

‘But maybe we could’ve considered individual training, where you have basically no risk. You’re not touching anyone, you’re not close to anyone. See if everyone was getting closer to football behind played all over the world.

‘Obviously, it’s very difficult and I understand someone needs to make decisions. We just have to do what they’re telling us. Difficult moment in our professional lives and personal lives, but we just have to hold on and everything will be fine in the future for sure.’

The former Chelsea and Arsenal star feels individual training could have been trialled in France

Players have been torn over the prospect of returning to action during the current climate. Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero earlier revealed that some players were fearful about resuming.  

‘The majority of players are scared because they have family, they have children, they have babies, parents,’ he said in April.

‘When we go back, I imagine that we will be very tense, we will be very careful, and the moment someone feels ill, you will think: “What’s gone on there?” I hope there is a vaccine so all this ends.’

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France's Ligue 1 asks for £173m loan to keep clubs from going under

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. 

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