Canal + refuses to pay the Professional Football League (LFP) the € 110 million deadline of April 5 for Ligue 1 broadcasting rights, said Maxime Saada, president of Canal +, to the LFP, in a letter obtained by “L’Equipe”. “It is not possible that we pay the future installments, even though due to the suspension of the Ligue 1 championship, no match can be played and, consequently, broadcast on our antennas”, he writes.
The LFP’s reaction was quick, especially since BeIN, with which Canal had bought the rights for the four seasons from 2016 to 2020, also does not seem to want to assure the LFP that it will pay the 42 million she owes him in April.
In a response to the sports daily, the LFP criticizes the lack of solidarity of the subsidiary of Vivendi when, according to it, clubs, players and other bodies of football, including international, stick together. Above all, she believes that the April deadline covers matches already played to the tune of 43 million euros and 15 million for BeIN and that there is no reason why these sums should not be paid. .
The biggest clubs in the championship were to be the main beneficiaries of the April payments supposed to remunerate in particular their contribution to the reputation of the championship: the PSG (controlled by Qatar like BeIn) was to touch 17 million, Marseille 14 million, etc., according to “L’Equipe”. The settlement of this dispute could have an impact on the June deadline, estimated at 140 million, including 85 million by Canal. Of the 759 million owed by Canal and BEIN (for Leagues 1 and 2) for the current season, there would remain a total of 280 million to be paid. If the crisis continues, payments from the Spanish Mediapro (780 million, out of now 1,153 million to be paid each year to the League), the new French football channel, may also become a subject.
280 million euros to pay
In the meantime, some believe that if this year’s games are played by the end of the summer, it will be difficult for the chains not to honor their deadlines. Even if the acceleration of the calendar that this would cause would make the program schedule of Canal + less attractive. Others note that in the current confinement, Canal + is far from being the company most affected, the small screen being the only accessible entertainment. Maxime Saada counters that ” almost all “ of its activities are affected: closure of Canal + sales channels, less sports, drop in free advertising, Studiocanal activity paralyzed.
For the “pro” clubs, the Canal + decision constitutes very bad news more in the context, unprecedented since the Second World War, of suspension – on March 13 – of the L1 and L2 championships. National television rights (excluding the European Cup) represent almost a third of club revenues, excluding transfers, from Ligue 1.
Remuneration of the players in question
Since March 23, a general mobilization of “pro” football has been carried out around the LFP, hence the establishment of three working groups: the first on “recovery plans and scenarios”; the second on the issue of short-term cash flow and club funding; finally, the third on “social dialogue”. In this context, the question of player salaries is obviously on the table. Their remuneration, which will appear even more exorbitant for some of them in these times of crisis, represent a little more than half of the expenses of the clubs.