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For the general interest and the future of French football

Published on 10 May 2020 at 10:25 AM
Pour l’intérêt général et le futur du football français
The motto of Olympique Lyonnais is "United to roar". Today, it is not only about OL, but quite simply about the future of French football, our sport.

Since the provisional cessation of the league season on March 13, we have done everything to find solutions that honor the support of those affected by the pandemic, and the general interest of French football, from the passionate supporters, to the general sustainability of all clubs and the sporting merit as advocated by UEFA.



- From March 11, we asked for the temporary suspension of the French season, and the time to face this and react to an unknown pandemic.

- On March 13, when asked by Le Monde about the possible solutions and the outcome that this suspension of the 2019/20 season could take, we raised the possibility of a null season in the event that the season could not end. It was, in the context of this question, the solution that seemed to do the least harm to all French football.

- On the evening of March 13, responding to a question from Canal Plus, we reaffirmed that the obvious imperative was to "finish the season". Since then, we have always confirmed that "the best solution would be to finish the season".

- Throughout the month of April, we identified that it would be difficult to "finish all the matches" but we showed a strong determination toward the general interest of French clubs, and not only, as some claim, for OL's exclusive interests.

 

In this context, we have made several credible proposals taking into account the health mandates and the health of all of the players in football: Finish the season between September and December as suggested by other club presidents, wait and observe what our European neighbors are doing, or set up a playoff system as others had suggested.

In any case, we have always worked to favor sporting merit over mathematics to foster the glorious uncertainty of sport! These proposals were a basis for work. They could have been taken up and reworked to fit all of the sensitivities of French football.

But, on April 30, the LFP suddenly decided to definitively stop the French professional leagues, without taking into account all of UEFA's recommendations, or giving itself time to observe what our dozens of neighbors were planning: relaunching the season while working on an entirely up-to-standard health protocol to protect the various parties in football.

 

And now?

 

How to make football fans happy who are being deprived of their passion today?

How to survive in the very short term amidst 900 million euros of cumulative losses for French professional football?

How can we guarantee that all French clubs can finish the year without going bankrupt?

How can you help amateur football overcome the present situation and face the future?

How to compete with our foreign contemporaries who have, for the most part, carefully chosen to wait to relaunch their championship? How can we prevent the gap from widening further between French football and all the other major European countries?

How to allow all partners, actors, decision-makers, followers, amateurs, supporters, enthusiasts to find a little serenity?



Those who seek controversy today are wrong, but we invite them to reflect, today, on the future of French football and the general interest of all.

Let us all unite and look beyond our own interests!

There is still time, until May 25, to relent and avoid the having the French league suffer.



We all love football, we all love this game.

We love the values it conveys, the passion it exudes.

Football is part of our life and our cultural heritage.

The championship is our ritual.

We must imperatively take care of it as did all those who preceded us.

We are their heirs.