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French football pleads government for 'emergency support plan'

 


The French football league (LFP) on Tuesday urged the government for an "emergency support plan" following the disastrous combination of the Covid-19 crisis and the collapse of its record TV rights deal.

League officials have requested a meeting with French government ministers to discuss a financial support package for its clubs after detailing collective losses in excess of one billion euros ($1.21 bn).

It is forecasting overall revenues of 759.1 million euros for the 2020-21 season, barely half the 1.3 billion initially budgeted by clubs, as matches continue to be played behind closed doors.

"In this context, the measures taken by the government for the current season last November have unfortunately proved to be insufficient or unsuitable for the continuation of the industry's activity," the LFP said in a statement.

The league was left without a domestic broadcast partner after the Mediapro deal, which had been expected to bring in 780 million euros per season for the four years to 2024, was terminated in December.

However, an agreement was struck with Canal Plus last week to broadcast the remainder of matches this season for an additional 35 million euros.

The LFP had already taken out a state-guaranteed loan of 224.5 million euros to compensate for lost television income after the decision to bring a premature end to last season.

French football's financial watchdog, the DNCG, recently warned that combined losses for this season would reach an eye-watering total of 1.314 billion euros due to the health crisis and TV rights debacle.

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