Club / 

Jean-Michel Aulas on France Info

Published on 27 May 2020 at 11:40 AM
Intervention de Jean Michel Aulas sur France Info
The president of Olympique Lyonnais, Jean-Michel Aulas, was the guest of Marc Fauvelle and Renaud Dely on France Info live from Groupama Stadium. The entire interview can be seen free of charge on OL Play.

The complete interview with Jean-Michel Aulas on France Info can be seen free of charge on OL Play

 

Hope of a return

We'll know later if it was a battle that was lost in advance. I know football well, I love fairness and I am a free man in a context where decisions can sometimes make us unhappy. We are the only major European country to have stopped its league season and all this will lead us to an economic disaster for the clubs. I am claim something that is logical. Let the season come to an end, let there be sporting equity. UEFA, in a number of statements, said the seasons had to go to their ends and that you could play in July and August if you had to. Sporting merit had to be respected and we are in line with this proposal. The Minister of Sport relied on a date of August 3 which did not actually exist. It seemed useful to me to say that it was entirely possible to resume. I hope that the Prime Minister can also give revised guidelines on Thursday because, with very sophisticated sanitary devices, we can show that everything is possible.

 

Defending the general interest

I am accused of defending my individual interest. If matchday 27, the last on which all the clubs had played, had been taken as the stopping point, the table would have been different. There were 30 points left to play for, so we can imagine that relegated clubs like Amiens or Toulouse could have been stayed up. It is not a matter of individual interest but of general interest. Football is a sport that can be judged by what happens at the last ... We did not celebrate the title of our female team because PSG could still overtake us in the matches that remained. We come to the State Council to question a decision that also affects women's football where we are theoretically champion of France. There is no better answer to this. I also ask for the resumption of the league because all the competitions must be completed. Decisions are premature. When we make a mistake, either we atone for it by taking a contrary decision, or we sink. Today, we are getting bogged down and we are no longer talking about the date of August 3, which was the reason for the end of the league season. This date was given as a baseline by UEFA; their logic was to conclude the season.

 

The return of the Champions League in August

France is fortunate to have two teams still qualified. We're going to play in the competition in August with both men's and women's teams. The other leagues will resume or have resumed. Our women's team will play Bayern who have has already resumed. We will have to face European teams which will have played two months of competitions while we have been stopped for several months. There is necessarily an abnormal gap in competitive equality.

 

The financial consequences for OL

I don't think the club is threatened in its sustainability. OL has more than 500 permanent employees and more than 2,500 people who work on match days. It’s a very important economic sector in French football. There are several tens of thousands of threatened jobs. We are in good finacial health because we have made a number of decisions. The other clubs do not yet have this economic maturity and are thus threatened. This decision contributes to weakening the clubs even more ... There was not unanimity over the lower wages, on the contrary, the women's team came to a unanimous agreement. Some players have accepted cuts, both voluntarily and individually. There was exemplary solidarity at OL ... OL has often been at the forefront of things. There was our fight for our listing on the stock exhange, a fight we won. There was also this fight for the privatization of clubs. We also own our stadium and we can make it profitable in different ways.

 

The match conditions in the Bundesliga

When you are passionate about football, when you love the game and this competition, you enjoy it. The match between Dortmund and Bayern last night was great. The crowd of viewers was much higher than normal. The general public loves it. It shows that everyone is waiting for football to be resumed. It’s a different kind of football but you have to adapt. Obviously you have to find your supporters, which is not possible physically at the moment. Gradually things will return to normal.

 

The transfer window on hold

It will be in "pause mode." Players in the French league will no longer be as visible. The clubs that can invest will be those that are abroad. There will be a real problem in the accounts as of June 30. It will be necessary to add to this the provisions to be taken on those transfers made a few years ago, and for which the regulations may not help because there will be many clubs in difficulty. This will destabilize French football. There will be a considerable shortfall.

 

The complete interview with Jean-Michel Aulas on France Info can be seen free of charge on OL Play.