Lyon to seek millions in damages after Ligue 1 was ended

Ligue 1 outfit Olympique Lyonnais will seek millions of euros in damages after they were deprived of a place in Europe. They will play no part in Europe for the first time in 25 years, and this is so because the French League decided to end the Ligue 1 season due to the coronavirus crisis. This was disclosed by club president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Although there were differences in the number of games played by teams, the LFP drew up the final standings based on a performance index. To be precise, it was based on the number of points per game weighed by head-to-head records. This resulted in Lyon’s seventh-place finish with no chance of participating in Europe next season.

“It’s a big loss of opportunity that has a financial value that amounts to dozens of million euros, which will be claimed in damages,” Aulas, whose club emerged victoriously in Ligue 1 from 2002-08 and made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2010, told local newspaper Le Progres.

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He argued that measures could have been taken to ensure that the season was completed in the form of playoffs behind closed doors in August, pointing out that the ranking method was disputable.

“We see that these standings are illogical. I don’t want to single out a club more than another but Nice played at home more than us and faced Paris St Germain (PSG) only once while we played them twice,” he explained.

Lyon were sitting 7th on the log having played 28 games and had 40 points. They were 10 points behind Stade Rennais who were on third and occupying the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.

Meanwhile, PSG were awarded the title while Olympique de Marseille who were second on the log secured direct qualification to next season’s UCL competition.

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“Over the last 10 years, OL (Olympique Lyonnais) caught up at least three times with the second-placed team while lagging more than 10 points behind,” said Aulas.

Lyon are still in this season’s UEFA Champions League after beating Juventus 1 nil at home in the first leg of their round of 16 tie. Other clubs have also spoken up against the decision. Amiens who were relegated have disclosed that they would study the reasons behind the decision before making plans for any legal action.

“It is an injustice,” Amiens president Bernard Joannin said in a Facebook live broadcast.

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“I’ll fight with all the teams to assert our right, because I think this decision isn’t right. We will wait for the minutes of the LFP board of directors.”

Regardless, French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu has said that all aggrieved clubs can explore their legal options but advised restraint.

“If they want to go to court, let them go,” Maracineanu told RMC Sport.

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