While Mediapro refuses to pay what it owes to the LFP, French football is on the alert. The managers of the Ligue 1 teams have even called in Emmanuel Macron.
This is a very serious matter that is shaking up French football at the moment. Indeed, Mediapro, which has taken over the television rights of League 1 and League 2 (2020 to 2024), has decided to stop its payments and to suspend in particular the last payment expected on 5 October, in the order of €172 million. In this week’s edition, Le Canard Enchaîné reveals the underside of all this.
On 29 September, whereas Vincent Labrune had been elected a few weeks earlier as head of the LFP (10 September), Mediapro discreetly negotiated a mediation procedure with the Nanterre Commercial Court. Jaume Roures, the boss of the Sino-Spanish group, wanted to renegotiate the far-reaching contract signed with the French court.
However, the new head of the League, Vincent Labrune, had replied: “I am surprised by the form and worried about the substance. The timing of this announcement is surprising, to say the least, when one knows that it comes only a few weeks after the payment of a first instalment. (…) At the very least, it could be said that it damages the relationship of trust”. But you learn a completely different thing in the weekly.
Macron must put pressure on Xi Jinping
Facing the facts, the former president of the Olympique de Marseille signed a paper accepting the so-called adhoc mediation, in order to freeze the debt, and even worse, to keep it secret. The mediator has three months, renewable, to propose a solution to both parties and the Palmipède explains that very often it is a rescheduling of the debt that is proposed. But it doesn’t stop there.
The presidents of Ligue 1 have decided to go for the highest level. Our dear leaders have directly asked Emmanuel Macron to put pressure on Xi Jinping, the current President of the People’s Republic of China. The goal? That the latter in turn puts pressure on the Chinese investors of the holding company Orient Hondai Capital, which controls Mediapro.
This story is still far from over.