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Ligue 1 Focus - Money, money, money…

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By Adam Faulkner

Monday 25 January 2010

For the past few years the economic world has suffered a crisis on a catastrophic scale. Unfortunately for the sporting world, the footballing economy is no exception.

While the world experienced a large scale economic boom fuelled on credit so did the footballing figures as transfer fees rose rapidly over the last decade. However as the bubble continued to swell and reach a colossal size, the bubble was consequently bound to burst. The LFP last week revealed that for the first time in three years the figures after tax for the 40 clubs of Ligue 1 and 2 produced a deficit of 50 million Euros scaled down to 33,54 million Euros after the provisions of shareholders for 2008-09. Certain clubs find themselves in big trouble financially after statistics were revealed over the last decade. The club from the capital, PSG, reported losses of up to 165 million Euros spanning over the last seven seasons. The DNCG as a result have encouraged clubs to concentrate on skyrocketing wage bills and the magnitude of their debts.

The figures have been revealed simultaneously with UEFA president Michel Platini’s comments about a ‘financial fair play’ initiative revolving around the idea that clubs should only spend the money they earn through football revenue. UEFA has now stated that from 2012-13 clubs will have to break even - spending only what they earn if they want to play in Europe’s most prestigious footballing tournaments. General Secretary Gianni Infantino said: “We are concerned, and many of the clubs and owners are concerned, about the sustainability of the game. We surveyed more than 650 clubs all over Europe, and found that 50 per cent of those clubs are making losses every year, and 20 per cent of them are making huge losses, spending 120 per cent of their revenue every year.” The aim of such a scheme appears to be to create a healthier environment, which will allow smaller clubs to invest in their own infrastructure and provide competition for the bigger European clubs.

Moving away from financial matters, it was a mixed weekend for Ligue 1’s biggest clubs in the French Cup with a few ‘Cupsets’ as they are now known. High-flying Lille fielded a weakened side for their tie against Colmar and ultimately paid the penalty as they were second best in a mammoth penalty shoot-out. Lille’s starting XI were virtually a second string and went down 10-9 in an epic shoot-out. In a similarly long and entertaining affair, second placed Montpellier crashed out against Ligue 1 bottom club Grenoble after playing for more than two hours at the Stade des Alpes. Grenoble took their place in the last 32 after Nassim Akrour hammered the ball home in extra-time. Unsurprisingly, there was to be no shock for top dogs Bordeaux as they smashed lowly opposition in the form of Ajaccio. Fernando Cavenaghi was the star man as the hosts ran out 5-1 winners at the Stade Chaban Delmas.

In other news, French striker Thierry Henry has pledged his support to the homeland of his ancestors following the disastrous quake that struck Haiti. The Barcelona striker has gifted thousands of Euros, thought to be in the region of 50,000 Euros, to Medicine Sans Frontieres to aid the charity’s work in the struggling country. Henry said: “I am very touched by this tragedy and it's very good that everyone is moving to help Haiti. Haiti is a former French colony. It's as if they were cousins. They need help. I felt I had to do something. That's why I decided to donate to Medecins Sans B.

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