The announcement of the boss of Canal + to launch a new call for tenders to renegotiate the rights of Ligue 1, certainly downwards, is another tsunami for professional clubs.
Canal+ will not be, for the moment in any case, the long-awaited savior of French football. While the world of football has been praying for weeks for the encrypted channel to come to its aid after the bankruptcy of Mediapro by taking over the TV rights put back on the market, a new earthquake has been shaking professional clubs since Tuesday evening with the setting in place of the dreaded disaster scenario.
In an interview with Figaro, Maxime Saada has announced that he will not negotiate the takeover TV rights abandoned by the Sino-Spanish group and even that he would make those of his chain unhooked with BeIN Sport, ie two matches per day. Canal+ wants a complete overhaul with a new call for tenders which should logically push prices down. “Some club presidents have spoken. Jean-Pierre Caillot “cannot imagine going under 800 million euros”, for Jean-Michel Aulas “the clubs will only lose part of the growth of the call for tenders” On the Canal + side, we think that Ligue 1 has been subsidized for many years, ”quipped the boss of the channel.
Sold in total for 1.156 billion euros during the last negotiation, how much will all the lots be worth during the new call for tenders knowing that Canal+ is, for the moment in any case, the only player interested in their acquisition. 700 million, a return to the level of the period 2008-2012? 600 million? Less? Place your bets.
Salaries: 54% of operating expenses for Ligue 1 clubs
The clubs, already strangled by the inflation of wages and that of transfer prices whose reimbursements will have to be spread over the coming seasons, tremble when the revenues linked to the ticket office have disappeared. All are preparing to undergo a violent belt tightening that will damage the ranks of their employees, who are, unlike the players, not millionaires. In anticipation of the worst, a meeting was also held on Tuesday between the representatives of the presidents of players in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 and the players’ union to discuss lower wages. These were the main expense item for Ligue 1 clubs (54% of total operating expenses with a volume of 780 million euros, a quarter of which represented by PSG). “If we do not reduce the charges, there will be no miracle”, warned, worried Jean-Pierre Caillot, the president of the Stade de Reims in The world.
Small clubs fear the move to 18 in Ligue 1
The looming austerity cure will affect both the big clubs (with the possible exception of Paris SG owned by Qatar) as well as those with a smaller financial stature and who struggle regularly to save their place among the elite. These will also have an additional reason to worry about the media release of Maxime Saada in our columns. Because the leader invited French football to reform, drawing inspiration from the tightening of the Top 14 elite, without citing the idea of a Ligue 1 with 18 clubs. “Can French football still support a system of more than 40 professional clubs, including 20 in Ligue 1?” Saada explained, who established an implacable observation: “The championships clearly do not generate enough revenue to support the competition. all clubs. ” In other words, fewer clubs will have to share a cake which should significantly reduce its size.
The idea of pay-per-view, a disaster for less exposed clubs?
More worrying still is the idea of a pay-per-view introduced for the French championship pending the establishment of a new call for tenders which could take several weeks (or even months?). Canal +, in a strong position, is in no hurry. Maxime Saada wishes to offer this temporary solution to the Professional Football League. If Paris SG, Lyon or Marseille, very popular clubs can sleep comfortably with such a system in place which should benefit, other less exposed teams may fear playing in front of a minimum of viewers. The end of more equitable treatment but also of a principle of solidarity.