Mediapro blows a wind of panic on French football

“S'ha acabat el Broquil” means in Catalan “we no longer have a radish”.

A specter haunts French professional football, that of bankruptcy. Already battered by the premature end of last season, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs find themselves at the heart of a turmoil caused by the new broadcaster, Mediapro. The same that was to propel French football into another dimension.

Supposed to pay 814 million euros each year – between 2020 and 2024 – to the Professional Football League (LFP), the Sino-Spanish group has decided not to pay its second bill for television rights – 172 million euros euros, early October. Then, through his boss, the Spaniard Jaume Roures, Mediapro demanded a rebate, arguing the crisis related to the health context.

Critical situation for clubs

The LFP refused to give in to the demands of the rights holder, who launched, in August, its channel, Téléfoot, in France. In a letter to the clubs, made public Thursday, October 15 by the newspaper The team, the executive director general of the League, Arnaud Rouger, retaliated, threatening to break the contract if “A favorable outcome” was not found with Mediapro. For the clubs, to which the League was to donate the receipts from audiovisual broadcasting on Saturday, October 17, the situation is critical.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Téléfoot, the new skylight of French football, arrives on Monday

To allow the latter, already deprived of ticketing revenue and penalized by a sluggish transfer window, to withstand the shock, the newly elected president of the LFP (September 10), Vincent Labrune, took out a loan of 120 million euros. from a foreign bank – 50 million additional funds will also be provided in equity. A loan in addition to that of 224.5 million euros – guaranteed by the State in May – to compensate for the premature end of the season. A third loan could intervene, “Of the same order as the second”, according to information from The team, if Mediapro sticks to its position, the next deadline being December 5.

“At one point, the clubs will no longer have the cash to pay salaries”, Philippe Piat, president of the National Union of Professional Footballers

Faced with this precarious situation, and while the announcements of Emmanuel Macron, Wednesday, October 14, condemn many of them behind closed doors, at least for the posters after 9 p.m., the majority of French professional clubs prefer to remain silent on the radio. . According to our information, the Union of Professional Football Clubs has urged its members to remain discreet on this perilous subject. And few are those who come out of the woods.

You have 71.87% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here