October 12 – France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) president Vincent Labrune has said the league’s new commercial subsidiary could raise €1 billion with an investment partner that will be key to the survival of French professional football.
Last December, the LFP founded the subsidiary to manage broadcast and sponsorship deals, a model that is applied by a number of European leagues, with that subsidiary being the vehicle to raise to new money to be invested in the French game from the private equity markets.
In an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe, Labrune (pictured) said: “The creation of a commercial subsidiary of the LFP is not a fad, and even less a whim of a few shareholders in need of cash, but an imperative need for the future of French professional football, whether short, medium or long term.”
French clubs have yet to approve the subsidiary and the sale of a stake to outside investors.
Labrune said: “To create the conditions for our football’s short-term competitiveness, there is no other solution than to raise funds to compensate for the competitive disadvantage we have over the period vis-à-vis our neighbours.”
“This entry of new money will, moreover, prevent the bankruptcy of a number of clubs which are now in great difficulty. But also, thanks to solidarity that we want, to help the FFF and amateur football in a substantial way.”
Last year, French football was plunged into a crisis when the unprecedented TV rights deal worth more than €1.15bn per year (€814 million a year from Mediapro and €330 million from BeIN Sports), the second-largest deal in Europe, collapsed. The global health crisis further compounded the crisis with a severe drop in match-day revenues for the clubs.
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