June 1 – The head of the body representing top-flight players in France says it is highly unlikely the government will change its mind and allow the domestic season to resume despite fierce protests from clubs and fans like.
Unlike the other four members of the so-called Big Five footballing nations, the French domestic campaign has been permanently curtailed but Bernard Caïazzo, who is also co-president of St. Etienne, remains convinced it was the wrong decision and says the authorities “shot us in the foot.”
“I was always favourable towards the idea that the leagues would continue and finish in their entirety for obvious reasons … and so that our economic situation would not suffer,” he told Eurosport.
“We were obliged to stop and bring our season to an end owing to a government injunction. We did not have a choice. Believe me, it did not delight us to lose 25% of our revenues but we obeyed the orders like good citizens.
“At the time, we thought that all other leagues would follow us but in seeing that everything is restarting again, I admit that French clubs got this more and more wrong. “We are dealing with a €600 million loss for French football. In terms of competitiveness in Europe, I hope that this will not be fatal but the government shot us in the foot. We have an obvious handicap in comparison to our neighbours.”
Caïazzo says it is highly unlikely the decision can be reversed.
“Broadcasting contracts are finished. How would it work? And certain players have gone on holiday. How do we do it? We have to be realistic. The most recent instructions from the Prime Minister do not suggest that we are going in a way that would allow us to restart soon.”
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