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Report: French soccer clubs to miss out on €192m in ticketing and hospitality revenue

LFP outlines financial impact of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 games being played at limited capacity.

6 October 2020 Sam Carp

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  • Attendance in France capped at 1,000 fans due to rise in Covid-19 cases
  • Clubs in French soccer’s top two divisions to lose €125m in ticketing revenue, plus €67m hospitality income
  • Meanwhile, Lyon add two years to Groupama stadium naming rights deal

Clubs in French soccer’s Professional Football League (LFP) are set to miss out on a combined €192 million (US$226 million) due to the restrictions on fans attending games, according to L’Equipe

The French newspaper has seen figures provided by the LFP to the French government as part of a compensation request, which says clubs in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 expect to lose €125 million (US$147 million) in ticketing revenue and €67 million (US$79 million) in hospitality income as a result of stadiums operating at limited capacity.

The numbers reportedly account for matches in France’s top two divisions, as well as French teams’ home fixtures in European competitions.

In addition, the French Football Federation (FFF), France’s national soccer body, has estimated that it will miss out on €23 million (US$27 million) as a consequence of not having fans in attendance for the Coupe de France final and the national side’s home games.

L’Equipe reported at the start of September that the LFP was seeking more than €100 million  (US$117 million) from the French government to help offset losses from games being played in front of a limited number of fans.

Up to 5,000 supporters were allowed to attend Ligue 1 games when the season started in August, but that number has since been slashed to 1,000 due to an increase in coronavirus cases in France. 

The LFP already took out a government loan worth a reported €224.5 million (US$264.5 million) in May in order to pay clubs in the top two tiers the broadcasting revenue they were due to receive for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, which was cancelled prematurely due to the pandemic.

Elsewhere in French soccer, Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais have announced a two-year extension of their stadium naming rights deal with insurance firm Groupama. The agreement ensures that Lyon’s 59,000-seater home will continue to be known as the Groupama Stadium until 2022.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but L’Equipe says Groupama will pay Lyon €5.5 million (US$6.4 million) a year.

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