Ligue 1

French National Court opts to suspend relegation from Ligue 1

Toulouse and Amiens were due to go down after the French top flight was prematurely ended

4:12pm on Tuesday 9th June 2020
Martin Macdonald

Amiens and Toulouse could be set for a Ligue 1 reprieve after the French National Court suspended their relegation from the top flight.

In May Ligue 1 chiefs took the step to conclude the competition based on a points-per-game ratio, which led to PSG being named champions and both Amiens and Toulouse, the latter of whom accumulated just 13 points all season, being relegated to Ligue 2.

However both teams fought the decision, deeming it unlawful for them to be relegated when there were still points to be won which could have seen them survive.

One idea that had been mooted was a potential relegation/promotion play off involving teams in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, and although that has not been confirmed yet, the court has decreed that neither Toulouse nor Amiens will now face relegation.

The original decision, to suspend the entire league, was lawful, with the Nation Court stating:

“There is no serious doubt around the legality of this decision, which weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of an immediate stoppage of the season, when there was very great uncertainty about whether or not competitive action would be able to return in time.”

“The LFP board of directors had to accept consequences from the pausing of the leagues. The judge validates the decisions made by the LFP, notably in terms of the final classification of the Ligue 1 table, which took into account that not all matches in the 28th gameweek were able to be played.”

However, a consequence of that decision, the relegation of these two teams, has been deemed unlawful.

“The judge suspends the relegation into Ligue 2 of Amiens and Toulouse.

"The LFP Board of Directors was not able to argue on sound legal footing their decision to relegate the final two clubs in the Ligue 1 table, attempting to use the grounds that their agreement with the FFF currently provides for a league size limit of 20 clubs, however this agreement ends on 30 June and a new one has yet to be signed.”

This indicates that we could potentially see a Ligue 1 competition with at 22 teams next season.

Lyon had hoped to have the competition restarted having watched the Bundesliga teams return to action in May, while the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga are all set for comebacks in the next few weeks, but this proposal was rejected.

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