Featured Matches
Previous
Kansas City
Philadelphia Union
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Queretaro
Pachuca
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
U.A.N.L
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
KV Oostende
Anderlecht
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Fortuna Düsseldorf
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Fortuna Düsseldorf
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
Le Havre AC
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Valenciennes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arles
AC Ajaccio
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Nancy Lorraine
Dijon FCO
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chateauroux
Troyes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Angers
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Laval
Niort
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Tours
Créteil
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FK Rubin Kazan
Spartak Moscow
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KV Oostende
Anderlecht
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Silkeborg IF
Sonderjyske
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Lillestrom
SK Brann
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bray
Athlone Town FC
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cork
Dundalk
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derry City
Bohemians
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Drogheda Utd
UCD
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Limerick FC
Shamrock
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
St Patricks
Sligo
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kansas City
Philadelphia Union
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Queretaro
Pachuca
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
U.A.N.L
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
Banfield
Postp
Game Details
Rosario Central
Quilmes
Postp
Game Details
Lobos BUAP
Mineros de Zacatecas
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Correcaminos
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Avaí
Luverdense
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vila Nova-GO
Goianiense
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Unión La Calera
Antofagasta
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Real Espana
Parrillas One
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
Jul 4, 2013

Calls for 18-team Ligue 1

French Football League president Frederic Thiriez has reaffirmed his desire to reduce Ligue 1 to 18 clubs and ease the financial plight of French football.

The 40 professional clubs in France's top two tiers emerged from the 2011-12 season with a cumulative debt of €130 million, a situation which was not improved by a €61 million drop in TV revenue when the rights for the four-year period up to 2016 were negotiated.

Thiriez told L'Equipe French clubs' total revenue was some €1.3 billion, almost half that of those in England, where the TV money pot is significantly larger, and with last season's average attendance some 16,000 down on the Premier League and 22,000 shy of that in the Bundesliga, he is determined to attempt to resolve the situation by trimming the top flight to the size it was between 1997 and 2002.

"In 2003, I proposed a return to 18 clubs in Ligue 1," Thiriez said following the LFP's general assembly. "With the financial crisis and the lowering of TV money, we can no longer dismiss the problem. Does France have the means to have 20 clubs in Ligue 1? My answer is 'No'.

"But my answer has no interest. It needs the clubs to be in agreement. They will have to decide by the end of the year on a potential application of the change for the 2015-16 season at the earliest."

When he raised the issue a decade ago, 26 of 35 clubs voted against the move. Thiriez acknowledged he will undoubtedly face stiff opposition once again.

He said: "Of course it's going to provoke fears. In the end, democracy will decide. There's not only a financial interest but also that of the fixture list. We'd play four fewer games, which is not negligible. Germany has 18 clubs in the 1. Bundesliga and have just taken the decision to go down to 16 in the 2. Bundesliga."

The LFP chief does have his partisans though. Influential Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas told L'Equipe he had been in favour of an 18-club top flight "even before the financial crisis" while the OL supremo's counterpart at recently-relegated Nancy, Jacques Rousselot, is also a fan of the idea.

"I've always favoured the general interest over the individual. Therefore, I've always been favourable to a top flight of 18 clubs. With the financial crisis that we're going through, a solution is going to have to be found," Rousselot stated before adding his view was not likely to prove universal.

"Everyone protects their own little bit of territory. The three or four big teams will be for it. There will be two or three, like me, who'll lobby in favour of a change. The rest though...."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.