OM boss Eyraud says Ligue1 must reform to face post-Covid realities

February 18 – Olympique de Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud (pictured) has said Ligue 1 is “no longer sustainable” and should shrink to confront a post-coronavirus reality.

“I think there is a growing feeling, maybe not in the UK from what I heard, but certainly in France and maybe in other parts of Europe that nowadays having a league with 20 clubs is probably too much,” said Eyraud at the Financial Times’ Business of Football Summit. 

Germany’s Bundesliga is the only major European league to feature just 18 clubs. Italy, France, Spain and England all have 20 clubs in their top flight. 

Eyraud, who sits on both the LFP board and the UEFA’s Club Competitions Committee, pointed at the crowded calendar as a part of the problem. 

“We at Olympique Marseille have been playing a game every three days for the last four months and that is going to continue to be the case in February and March,” explained the Marseille president. 

“There are a lot of reforms to be discussed, this is certainly in the pipeline, I don’t know the outcome of it but we are certainly part of these discussions and that is why I think there will be a pre and post-Covid world when it comes to Ligue 1 for sure and probably other leagues in Europe.” 

Eyraud also reflected on the collapse of the Mediapro deal which has plunged French football into an unprecedented crisis. “It was quite a drama,” said Eyraud. “And I would say most if not all stakeholders in the game were comfortable with Mediapro running the show and becoming the first and foremost broadcaster. Nobody expected this going two months into the season.”

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1614342932labto1614342932ofdlr1614342932owedi1614342932sni@o1614342932fni1614342932