OL’s Aulas demands €117.7m from Ligue 1 for ending 2019/20 season early

Jean-Michel Aulas

September 4 – The row over the premature ending of France’s 2019/20 Ligue 1 season is rumbling on with Olympique Lyonnais (OL) demanding €117.7 million in compensation.

OL president Jean-Michel Aulas has told French press the club are entitled to damages having been prevented from qualifying for European club competition for the 2020/21 season.

The club is maintaining that the damages should be paid out of the coming season’s Ligue 1 broadcast contracts.

When Ligue 1 was suspended, OL were outside the European qualifications spots, despite still being in the 2019/20 Champions League where they were knocked out in the semi-final.

OL have reported revenues of €276.3 million for the 2019/20 financial year, 11% down on the previous year and €40 million short of projected revenue.

Without the revenues of European club competition revenue for 2020/21 will likely be €50 million off where the club argues it should be through no fault of their own, on top of any further financial pain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

French FA president Noel Le Graet said earlier this week that he has no regrets about prematurely closing down last season’s domestic league campaign despite other European countries managing to complete theirs.

Le Graët  “by far the most difficult” he’s ever had to make but had no option. “We applied what the state wanted. What was important was people’s health,” he said.

However, he went on to say that current Ligue 1 Covid-19 protocols that see games suspended if four players test positive are too strict and that France should follow UEFA’s protocols that are less restrictive.

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