June 24 – French football authorities have defied a court ruling not to relegate Amiens and Toulouse in voting to maintain a 20-team Ligue 1 next season, ending any chance of expanding the league.
The two clubs had both been condemned to the drop when the season was wound up prematurely early in late April due to the coronavirus crisis, but went to court to argue that their relegation from the top flight was “unjust” and “arbitrary” since the table could ultimately have been different.
Earlier this month France’s highest administrative court blocked their relegations, while a judge ordered that the French league (LFP) re-examine the proposed format for the top division next season with the French Football Federation.
That could have meant the league being expanded by two teams, with promotions still standing but relegations annulled.
However, in a statement following a vote of its general assembly on Tuesday, the league said it was maintaining a 20-club status quo.
“The vote followed an in-depth study into the consequences of a Ligue 1 of 20, 21 or 22 clubs on the fixture calendar for next season and on the health of the players,” read a statement released by the LFP.
“The study also looked into the financial impact, the distribution of broadcast rights and the repercussions on contracts with broadcasters,” it said.
The two relegations are now expected to be confirmed on Friday during the general assembly of the French Football Federation.
The vote would appear to put an end to the footballing dispute once and for all, with Lorient and Lens taking the places of Amiens and Toulouse, who had been at the bottom for many months.
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