Ligue 1

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Ligue 1
Nova logo da Ligue 1.pngTemplate: Infobox football competition / maintenance / logo format
Full name Ligue 1 Uber Eats
Association Ligue de Football Professionnel
First edition 1932/33
hierarchy 1st League
Teams 20th
master Paris Saint-Germain (9th title)
Record champions AS Saint-Étienne (10 titles)
Record player Mickaël Landreau (618)
Record scorer Delio Onnis (299)
Current season 2020/21
Qualification for Champions League
Europa League
French Supercup
Ligue 2 (II)
Ligue 1 atmosphere in the Prinzenparkstadion during a game between Paris Saint-Germain and SM Caen in 2004

The Ligue 1 [ liːgœ ] is the highest division in the French men's soccer ; from 1932 to 2002 it was called Division 1 or Première Division (D1). It was a professional league from the start . There have been French championships since 1894, but winning the championship (Championnat de France) has only been an official title since 1932 .

In a country where this sport still lagged behind cycling , boules and rugby in terms of the public until the last third of the 20th century , it took a long time for professional football to become one of the five strongest leagues in Europe around the turn of the millennium . Top football in France is now much more globalized and therefore more confusable, but has still retained some very “French” peculiarities (see below ) .

Both non-French and country-specific framework conditions, organizational forms and structures have contributed to this development, which in the 85-year history of the league has been the face of French football - well beyond its three "big names" Kopa , Platini and Zidane and its first island successes ( end of 1950 - and in 1980 have shaped and here - -Jahren) also en détail be shown.

Note: Many French clubs have changed their names during this period; the designation valid at the time it is mentioned is always used here.


The late start: causes

Almost four decades passed from the first national championships (1894, still limited to Paris ) to the formation of a uniform league that encompassed the entire country, during which championships and cup competitions were already held.  There are a number of reasons for this long start-up time - at least compared to England , the “mother country” of football - some of which are typical of the early history of football in all of Europe, but some of which are related to specific French conditions. One of the main reasons was the diversity of associations (or, to put it negatively, the organizational turmoil) of French sport until after the First World War : a unified association, the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA), only existed from 1887 to 1905; between 1905 and 1919, on the other hand, there were up to five competing associations in which football clubs were organized and their respective champions determined (more details here ). Although they created a joint umbrella organization ( Comité Français Interfédéral , CFI) in 1908 , it was not until 1913 that all football organizations had joined; and as early as 1914, the First World War interrupted all unification efforts for more than four years, before these efforts led to the establishment of the Fédération Française de Football Association (FFFA, later just FFF) in 1919 .

The way to a national, professional league was by no means free, however, because the CFI had made an agreement with the publisher Édition Hachette that initially prevented this: Hachette sponsored the national cup competition , the Coupe de France , launched in 1917/18 5,000 francs annually  and in return had the right to be assured that no other national competition could be held until 1928. In addition, the start of the league was delayed in the following years due to the effects of the global economic crisis and because of the disputes between supporters and opponents of professionalising the sport.

The emergence of a disguised professionalism

Professionalization in football was not an entirely new topic in France. France's national goalkeeper Pierre Chayriguès , as he himself known at the end of the 1920s, received 500 Francs in 1911 for his move to Red Star Paris  and then earned a fixed monthly salary of 400 FF plus bonuses of 50 FF each. After international matches, he regularly picked up a four-digit amount from the FFFA office, which the association - whose president Jules Rimet was an avowed advocate of the amateur idea - declared as “travel expenses”, “lost earnings” or “drug costs”. Therefore, Chayriguès was able to allow himself to turn down a lucrative offer from Tottenham Hotspur (the talk was of FF 25,000) to play in England in 1913 .

The topic only became virulent after the First World War, because from 1919 the FFFA was able to enforce a standardization in favor of amateurism, while until 1914/18 the associations had dealt differently "generously" with this question. This resulted in various forms of clandestine professional play at several clubs, as existed in Germany before the introduction of the Bundesliga. Some clubs were supported by local companies that had company sports clubs and were able to offer jobs or direct payments (such as the car manufacturer Peugeot in Sochaux , the retail chain Casino in Saint-Étienne or the sparkling wine producer Pommery & Greno in Reims ).

Other clubs attracted courted players by securing their livelihood by taking over a small business: what used to be the lottery ticket acceptance point in Germany was often a bar tobacco in France . Individual popular players also marketed their fame early on; national players Eugène Maës and Henri Bard advertised football boots that bore their names. At some clubs, player payments were an open secret in the 1920s. For example, French and foreign national players came to Olympique Marseille season after season, not just because of the pleasant Mediterranean climate ; after 1924 two players played at Red Star Paris who had recently become Olympic champions with Uruguay; Sports Olympiques Montpelliérains had four well-known players from Switzerland and Yugoslavia in its ranks in 1929; In 1930, FC Sète added a Hungarian, an Algerian and another Serbian national player to the “foreign contingent” in its squad (three British and one Yugoslav) ...

However , the FFFA found it difficult to prove this disguised professionalism, which the French call l'amateurisme marron (translate as "tricky amateurism"): in 1923 they excluded FC Cette (now Sète) from the cup competition because they were Swiss Player Georges Kramer had not been based in France for half a year - but months later another association body decided with a majority of one vote that this did not justify the severe penalty (which is why Sète was even allowed to make up for the missed cup rounds; for more details see here ). Inevitably, Sète's long-time president, Georges Bayrou, was one of the staunchest supporters of the introduction of an official professional player, for which he repeatedly promoted in the press and at all association levels.

So if the FFFA could not prevent the payment of players, then their interest had to be to steer this development in an orderly way and thereby control it. The French federation then - unlike, for example, the German Football Association , which also had to grapple with this schism in 1929/30 ("Schalke case", founding of the German Professional Football Association) - decided relatively quickly to deal aggressively with sham amateurism .

The "Coupe Sochaux"

Of all things, the recently founded FC Sochaux provided decisive pacemaker services for the introduction of a nationwide league operation: in 1930, the club sponsor, with the approval of the FFF, donated a trophy, the Coupe Sochaux , and invited the seven supposedly strongest players to this competition, which was largely held in league mode, alongside FC Sochaux Teams one: two each from the north ( Lille Olympique , RC Roubaix ), the south ( Olympique Marseille , FC Sète ) and Paris ( Red Star , Club Français ) as well as one from the east ( FC Mulhouse ). This competition ended in 1931 with the host's 6-1 final victory over Lille. The following year (1931/32) the competition was repeated, this time with 20 participants (winners: FC Mulhouse, 4-2 against Stade Français Paris ), and the public echo made clear the great interest in a top national league.

The Zero Hour"

On January 16, 1932, a commission appointed twelve months beforehand by the FFF under Jean Bernard-Lévy decided on the final modalities of future professional football in France. Was adopted u. a. also a professional player statute, according to which the players could be paid a monthly maximum of 2,000 old Francs . In addition, two supervisory bodies were created: one was responsible for player and contract issues; he was headed by the former national player and journalist Gabriel Hanot . The second (groupement des Club Professionnels) dealt with league operations and championships under the later association president (from 1949) Emmanuel Gambardella ; several club representatives were entitled to vote in it.

The first years (1932–1939)

(in brackets: number of titles)
1932/33 : Olympique Lille
1933/34 : FC Sète
1934/35 : FC Sochaux
1935/36 : Racing Paris
1936/37 : Olympique Marseille
1937/38 : FC Sochaux (2nd)
1938/39 : FC Sète (2nd)

With the 1932/33 season (on September 11, 1932 to be precise), professional gaming began in France . To this end, the participating clubs had to - and still have to - give themselves a professional statute. 20 clubs were approved for this first season in 1932 and are therefore considered to be the founding members of the league. They were divided into two seasons, but not according to regional criteria, but clubs from all over the country played in each group.

Group A was assigned: FC Hyères , Olympique Lillois , Olympique Marseille , FC Mulhouse , SC Nîmes , OGC Nice , Excelsior AC Roubaix , FC Sète as well as from Paris Racing Club and Club Français .
In group B played: Olympique Alésien , Olympique Antibes , AS Cannes , SC Fivois , FC Metz , Sports Olympiques Montpelliérains , Stade Rennais UC , FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and from Paris Red Star Olympique and Cercle Athlétique .

The two group winners (Lille Olympique and Olympique Antibes) should determine the first French champions in a final - however, Lille won against AS Cannes, the second in Group B, because Antibes was convicted of bribing an opponent and was downgraded to second place. At the end of the first season, six clubs were relegated (Club Français, Red Star, Hyères, Metz, Mulhouse and Alès), none of them were new - the D1 was temporarily reduced to 14 teams and from then on only played in one group.

In the pre-war seasons up to 1938/39, the league operations initially suffered from some "teething problems". The game mode was changed many times (see below ) , a second league was introduced in 1933 and a third, albeit not professional, league in 1936. Nine clubs took over economically and had to give up professional football at least temporarily after a short time (1934 OGC Nice, US Suisse Paris , FC Lyon ; 1935 US Tourcoing , FC Hispano-Bastidien Bordeaux, SC Nîmes, Club Français, US Saint-Servan-Saint -Malo ; 1936 AS Villeurbanne).

On the other hand, the number of professional clubs in D1 and D2 increased from 20 (1932/33) through 34 (1935/36) to 37 (1938/39), and French football attracted players from many other countries, which undoubtedly helped its quality : In 1933/34, for example, were u. a. thirteen Austrians, ten British, seven Hungarians, five Scots and five Germans in France's elite class under contract - with an upward trend, which in 1938 led to the maximum number of foreigners eligible to play being limited to two per team (see also below ) . At that time there was still no club that clearly dominated the league; Rather, five clubs shared the seven championship titles: FC Sochaux and FC Sète were each successful twice, Olympique Marseille , Lille Olympique and the Racing Club once each.

The "war championships"

From 1940 to 1945, large parts of France were occupied by the German Wehrmacht ; nationwide, uniform gaming operations under professional conditions were not possible for other reasons. There was a league operation in two or three regional groups, but the division of the country into a free, an occupied and a forbidden zone (zone libre, zone occupée, zone interdite) did not allow any finals (except in 1945). In 1940/41 , teams from the north and northeast near the border could not take part in cross-zonal games at all. In addition, the Vichy government , which was opposed to professional sport, tried to enforce its position, which was unpopular with athletes and sports fans, in small steps: in the 1941/42 season , the Comité national des sports , headed by State Commissioner Colonel Pascot, reduced the playing time from 90 to 80 minutes . Although this decision was reversed after a year, each professional club had to use at least four amateurs for this in 1942/43 . In 1943/44 club teams no longer played for the championship and cup, only newly formed regional teams whose players became state employees. De facto, however , these Équipes Fédéraux consisted predominantly of the players from one or at most two clubs, and this attempt was given up again as early as 1944/45 . Nevertheless, these experiments are likely to have had a counterproductive effect in terms of increasing the popularity of the sport of football.

This is why these war seasons in France are not taken into account in any (player, team, title) statistics; on the other hand, the national cup continued to be played and officially counted in the statistics.

War, occupation and resistance also marked a turning point in professional football. These years interrupted or ended a professional career for players, coaches and officials (see for example the biographies of Jean Snella , Roger Courtois , Étienne Mattler and Larbi Ben Barek ). Likewise, some traditional clubs, especially those from the interdite zone on the border with Belgium, did not survive the economically difficult years and were forced to merge or dissolve (such as the SC Fivois , US Tourcoing and RC Roubaix ).

Championships from 1945

(in brackets: number of titles)
1945/46 : OSC Lille (2nd)
1946/47 : CO Roubaix-Tourcoing
1947/48 : Olympique Marseille (2nd)
1948/49 : Stade Reims
1949/50 : Girondins Bordeaux
1950/51 : OGC Nice
1951/52 : OGC Nice (2nd)
1952/53 : Stade Reims (2nd)
1953/54 : OSC Lille (3rd)
1954/55 : Stade Reims (3rd)
1955/56 : OGC Nice (3rd)
1956/57 : AS Saint-Étienne
1957/58 : Stade Reims (4th)
1958/59 : OGC Nice (4th)
1959/60 : Stade Reims (5th)
1960/61 : AS Monaco
1961/62 : Stade Reims (6th)
1962/63 : AS Monaco (2nd)
1963/64 : AS Saint-Étienne (2nd)
1964/65 : FC Nantes
1965/66 : FC Nantes (2nd)
1966/67 : AS Saint-Étienne (3rd)
1967/68 : AS Saint-Étienne (4th)
1968/69 : AS Saint-Étienne (5th)
1969/70 : AS Saint-Étienne (6th)
1970/71 : Olympique Marseille (3rd)
1971/72 : Olympique Marseille (4th)
1972/73 : FC Nantes (3rd)
1973/74 : AS Saint-Étienne (7th)
1974/75 : AS Saint-Étienne (8th)
1975/76 : AS Saint-Étienne (9th) .)
1976/77 : FC Nantes (4th)
1977/78 : AS Monaco (3rd)
1978/79 : Racing Strasbourg
1979/80 : FC Nantes (5th)
1980/81 : AS Saint-Étienne (10th)
1981/82 : AS Monaco (4th)
1982/83 : FC Nantes (6th)
1983/84 : Girondins Bordeaux (2nd)
1984/85 : Girondins Bordeaux (3rd)
1985/86 : Paris Saint-Germain
1986 / 87 : Girondins Bordeaux (4th)
1987/88 : AS Monaco (5th)
1988/89 : Olympique Marseille (5th)
1989/90 : Olympique Marseille (6th)
1990/91 : Olympique Marseille (7th)
1991 / 92 : Olympique Marseille (8th)
1992/93 : no title awarded
1993/94 : Paris Saint-Germain (2nd)
1994/95 : FC Nantes (7th)
1995/96 : AJ Auxerre
1996/97 : AS Monaco ( 6.)
1997/98 : Racing Lens
1998/99 : Girondins Bordeaux (5th)
1999/2000 : AS Monaco (7th)
2000/01 : FC Nantes (8th)
2001/02 : Olympique Lyon
2002/03 : Olympique Lyon (2nd)
2003/04 : Olympique Lyon (3rd)
2004/05 : Olympique Lyon (4th)
2005/06 : Olympique Lyon (5th)
2006/07 : Olympique Lyon (6th)
2007/08 : Olympique Lyon (7th)
2008/09 : Girondins Bordeaux (6th)
2009/10 : Olympique Marseille (9th)
2010/11 : OSC Lille (4th)
2011/12 : HSC Montpellier
2012/13 : Paris Saint-Germain ( 3.)
2013/14 : Paris Saint-Germain (4.)
2014/15 : Par is Saint-Germain (5th)
2015/16 : Paris Saint-Germain (6th)
2016/17 : AS Monaco (8th)
2017/18 : Paris Saint-Germain (7th)
2018/19 : Paris Saint-Germain (8th)
2019/20 : Paris Saint-Germain (9th)

After the liberation of France, the above-mentioned relative balance of Division 1 changed permanently and four epochs can be defined up to the present day, each characterized by the dominance of one or a few clubs.

1945: return to normal

Almost as if there had only been a short summer break between the end of the last pre-war season and the resumption of regular league operations in August 1945, the football association decided that the top 14 first division clubs and the two promoted teams from the 1938/39 season would form the new Division 1 should; this was also increased to 18 participants, so that teams could hope to be included in this group, which had performed particularly well during the war championships. Because SC Fivois merged with Lille Olympique-Iris Club, there were even three vacancies that went to Girondins-AS du Port de Bordeaux, Lyon Olympique Universitaire and Stade de Reims - all three had never been in the first division. Also new was the CO Roubaix-Tourcoing, a merger of three professional clubs that took the place of Excelsior AC Roubaix .

1945–1963: From Champagne to Europe

Two of these newcomers caused a sensation right from the start: CORT came third in 1946 and won the championship in 1947. Stade Reims then dominated the upper house of football for almost two decades: the club from Champagne, initially ridiculed as a "provincial footballer", won the championship six times during this time, was runner-up three times and, with one exception, never finished worse than fourth in these 18 years from. In addition, the red-whites also made a name for themselves in the Coupe de France (two successes) and even more so at the European level, won the Coupe Latine in 1953 and stood against Real Madrid in the finals for the European Cup in 1956 and 1959 . The team made extensive trips to friendly matches on all continents, by no means only in the francophone world . With six current and two long-time professionals from Reims, she also provided the framework for the national team in France's greatest world championship success up to then (third in the World Cup in Sweden ). Even today, referring to the decades-long club sponsor, a sparkling wine cellar, one speaks of the “foot petillant” , the “sparkling football” of the eleven from Champagne.

The role of “Crown Prince of the League” was shared by three clubs during this long domination of the Rémois : Lille OSC won two championships between 1945 and 1954 and stood out even more in the cup (five titles); a little later OGC Nice (four championship titles between 1950 and 1959) replaced Lille, then AS Monaco followed (twice first in 1961 and 1964). Racing Paris and Olympique Nîmes , who had to make do with the ungrateful second place two or three times , also caused tension in Division 1 from the mid-1950s .

1963–1981: Dual rule of "Greens" and "Yellows"

With the loss of the dominant position of Stade Reims, which at times even played only second class, the rise of AS Saint-Étienne went hand in hand, which was called les Verts (the Greens) because of their costume . Of the 18 titles of this era, the club won nine alone, four of them in series (1967-1970), added two runner-up championships and five cup victories, and in 1976 also reached the European Cup final . Similar to Reims a decade and a half earlier, the Stéphanois provided the framework for the national team - and during some of these years they were even coached by former Reims trainer Albert Batteux .

However, the dominance of the "Greens" was constantly threatened during this era, and this from a club that had only been promoted to the D1 in 1963: FC Nantes (or les Canaris because of its yellow dress) was for its part six times national champions between 1964 and 1986 , ended up in second place in seven seasons, but was less successful than Saint-Étienne in the cup (only one title) and at European level.

Only at the end of the 1971/72 season was neither the ASSE nor the FCN in one of the first two places: that was the short time in which Olympique Marseille was preparing to break into the phalanx of green and yellow; the southern French were also two French champions between 1970 and 1972, but after that Saint-Étienne and Nantes dominated the league again alone for a decade.

At the European level, however, an outsider drew level with the Verts : In 1978 the league nobody SEC Bastia reached the final of the UEFA Cup , but could not win it either.

During this time there was also an innovation that made a significant contribution to the fact that French clubs and in particular the national team were able to keep up with the other strong nations of world football in the long term: the duty of all professional clubs to systematically train and promote young talent (see own Chapter below ) .

1981–1999: Only the change was constant

During this period there was not a single team that could almost always be considered a sure title contender, but seven clubs shared the 18 championships, and only two of them managed to defend their title in successive years: they were Girondins Bordeaux (between 1980 and 1999 four times in first place, plus three times runner-up) and Olympique Marseille (between 1986 and 1994 four championships - 1989-1992 in series -, plus two second places).

Marseille also ended the 1992/93 season as leaders, but this title was subsequently revoked because of a match-fixing, not even awarded to the second in the table, and OM was downgraded to the second division in 1994.

Other top teams in this section were AS Monaco (three titles and three second places between 1978 and 1993), Paris Saint-Germain (two first, four second places 1982-1997) and FC Nantes (two titles in 1983 and 1995 and two runners-up). In addition, the AJ Auxerre (1996) and the RC Lens (1998) each achieved their only championship to date.

However, this widening of the top performance in the D1, which regularly challenged the teams more, contributed to the fact that the French representatives in the European Cup competitions reached the finals more often than ever before. In the UEFA Cup this succeeded Bordeaux (1996) and Marseille (1999), the Cup Winners competition Monaco (1992) and Paris (1996, 1997) and in the Champions League Marseille (1991, 1993). For the first time, two teams from Division 1 even won the respective trophy, namely Marseille in 1993 and PSG in 1996.

Since 1999: The hegemony of Lyon is followed by that of Paris

In the first decade of this period, a solo effort had developed: although two "old champions" initially won the title with AS Monaco and FC Nantes , from 2002 to 2008 only Olympique Lyon could enter the championship list after the team from the Stade Gerland 2001 had already taken second place. For the first time, OL failed to defend its title again in 2009, when it was already mathematically determined after the third to last match day that the trophy would find a place in another club showcase - namely that of the Girondins Bordeaux - and it went to other cities in the following four years. Nevertheless, Lyon never ended the season worse than in fourth place. With Olympique Marseille (2010), OSC Lille (2011) and Paris Saint-Germain (2013), three clubs became champions whose last title win was a long time ago - for Lille even well over half a century - and HSC Montpellier (2012 ) had never won the championship before. Given the huge investments that the new, foreign owners of Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco have made since the beginning of the 2010s, many experts assumed that the capital club and the club from the principality could dominate the league for several years. In fact, the Monegasque were successful in 2017, but that was the only season from 2014 to 2020 in which Paris was unable to defend its title.

However, it must be taken into account that in the past few decades the dominant clubs in the league were followed by a few years of triumphs everyday in midfield and occasionally even the deep fall into Ligue 2 . FC Nantes, for example, had to learn that past size matters little, relegated in 2007 after 44 years of uninterrupted membership in the first division; In 2008, with Racing Lens, Racing Strasbourg and FC Metz, three clubs were relegated, which in the past wrote many important chapters in the “book of French league football”. In addition, AS Monaco did not play in Ligue 1 for the first time in 34 years from 2011/12; The same applies to the AJ Auxerre from 2012/13 after 32 years in series. But since 2009 with the US Boulogne , AC Arles-Avignon , FC Évian Thonon Gaillard , FCO Dijon and Gazélec FC Ajaccio, the first division clubs number 67 to 71 have been added. In 2012, after a 33-year absence, the former French "flagship" Stade Reims returned to the top division, had to leave it again in 2016, but returned in 2018 - accompanied by another club whose most successful years had been a long time ago, namely Olympique Nîmes.

Overall, Ligue 1 has gained such strength and reputation since the turn of the millennium that it is counted among the most important football leagues in the world alongside the Premier League , Primera División , Serie A and Bundesliga . In 2004, AS Monaco made it into the Champions League final ; Series champion Olympique Lyon reached the CL quarter-finals and the last sixteen three times, before qualifying for the semi-finals in 2010 after an “inner-French” quarter-final against Girondins Bordeaux.

UEFA five-year ranking and European Cup places

At the end of the 2010/11 season, France remained in fifth place in the UEFA five-year standings behind England, Spain, Germany and Italy - ahead of Portugal. This means that Ligue 1 has two secure starting places (for the champions and the runner-up) in the 2012/13 Champions League , for which the league third also qualified. In addition, there are three permanent places in the UEFA Europa League for the fourth placed as well as the winners of the national and league cups , alternatively for the league fifth.

After the 2011/12 season (decisive for the 2013/14 European Cup competitions) France was overtaken by Portugal and is now in sixth place. France's gap to Russia in seventh place in the five-year ranking - which means the loss of third CL place - has decreased , but is still a good six points.

Ligue 1 in comparison with the four “big” European leagues

According to a Swiss-French study based on the figures from 2007, top-level football in France has a number of typical characteristics that distinguish it significantly from the leagues in England, Italy, Spain and Germany:

  • Only 31.1% of the professionals are also national players; for the four "big ones" the corresponding values ​​are between 41.2 (Spain) and 67.7% (England)
  • 32.5% of the players are under contract with the club where they were trained as young people; on the other hand, the comparative figures are only between 8.5 (Italy) and 20.5% (Spain)
  • With an average age of 24.9 years, French first division players are slightly younger than their colleagues (between 25.5 years in Germany and 26.4 years in Italy)
  • In France, only 33.1% of professionals have another nationality, while their share in the comparative leagues is between 36.8% (Italy) and 59.4% (England)
  • 78 French, but only 16 Italians, 15 Spaniards, ten Germans and not a single English player play in one of the four other foreign leagues that are compared here
  • Loyalty to the club is relatively high in France and is only exceeded by the Bundesliga: 39.0% have been playing for the same club for at least three years in Germany, 36.2% in France, only between 31.1 and 34.6% in the other three leagues of professionals

After updating this study, the specifics of Ligue 1 changed only gradually in 2008 and 2009, but not fundamentally. In particular, with 85 international professionals, French football continues to be the “number one source of European players”; worldwide only Brazil (139) and Argentina (95) “export” more players than France. In fourth place followed, by a wide margin, the Netherlands (36).

Championship mode in transition

The division of Division 1 into two groups was abandoned after the first year: since 1933, the top division, with the exception of the war and occupation years (1939-1945), was always single-track. Otherwise, the league character (home and away game of each club against each other; the points achieved and the goal difference determine the placement at the end of the season) from 1932 to the present. The championship is not held every calendar year, but over the turn of the year; the master of the year x started his course in year x– 1 .

Season duration and breaks

  • Depending on the number of participating teams, the first day of the D1 usually took place at the beginning of August each year, and in individual cases from mid-July. The opening season 1932/33 didn't even start until September, but the teams only had to play 18 matches each.
  • The season usually ends in May, but here too there were and are exceptions: the first post-war season did not end until June 26, 1946, but in years of a world championship with the participation of the Équipe tricolore it was also much earlier (1985/86 around April 12 ).
  • The approximately two-month summer break is due on the one hand to the climatic conditions in the southern part of France, but it is also related to the peculiarities of the French holiday regulations: after the Second World War , a system emerged according to which salaried employees (the "Juilletistes" ) in July and workers in particular (the "Aoûtistes" ) had to take their annual vacation from the first weekend in August - the large industrial companies closed until recently in August due to company holidays -; The holidays at schools and universities also extend over these two months.
  • Between the years up to and including 1963/64 the game was played through without interruption, including on Christmas days and New Year's Eve. A winter break was first introduced in 1964/65, but it is usually shorter than, for example, the German one and only lasts approximately from December 20 to January 15.
  • Evening games under floodlights were first scheduled for the entire league on September 19, 1957, the 5th matchday of the 1957/58 season.

Number of participants and rules of procedure

  • Usually 20 teams (1932/33, 1946/47, 1958–1963, 1965–1968, 1970–1997 and since 2002) played for the title; there was an 18-league in 1945/46, 1947–1958, 1963–1965, 1968–1970 and 1997–2002, 16 competitors 1934–1939 and only 14 in the second season (1933/34).
  • The number of relegated and thus promoted teams varied frequently: there were seasons in which only the bottom of the table had to go to the second division (1968–1970), at most this even affected the last four teams (1958–1963); very often there was also a combination of fixed relegation places (e.g. the last two) and elimination games ( barrages ) between the next worst teams against the third (and fourth) of Division 2 , on the outcome of which the remaining in the league depended. Since 1997 it has been the case here that the last three descend; From the 2016/17 season, however, there will only be two direct relegated teams, while the third-bottom can keep the league membership in a relegation against the second division third.
  • The two-point rule for a win was in effect from 1932 to 1988; In 1988/89 three points were tentatively awarded for a victory. Then they returned to the old regulation, before the three-point rule was finally introduced with the 1994/95 season . In addition, a brief attempt was made to promote attractive attack football with additional points: each team that scored at least three goals (1973/74) or that had won their game by at least three goals difference (1974–1976) received one point more per game. . The four-point rule that exists below D3, according to which every team receives an additional point for every game played - regardless of the result - has never prevailed in the professional field. Changes to the championship mode to increase the goal rate and to promote excitement have also recently been discussed: in the 2006/07 season, cash prizes were distributed to D1 teams who were eager to attack (see below ) ; However, the association remained behind a more extensive proposal, which u. a. provided an additional point regulation analogous to that of the 1970s .
  • In the event of a tie between teams, the goal quotient was used up to and including the 1963/64 season , and since then the goal difference (and in the event of a tie also in this question: the higher number of goals scored) to determine the order; this innovation favors teams that play more offensively. Stade de Reims, for example, benefited from the old rule in 1961/62: with a goal difference of 83:60 (quotient 1.383) it was champion ahead of RC Paris (86:63 goals, quotient 1.365), who was the same when the difference rule was applied would have been ahead because of his more hits.
  • From 1958/59 there was the possibility for national associations to allow a substitute to be substituted for an injured player. The trigger was the semi-final game at the 1958 World Cup , in which France's Robert Jonquet stood around for almost 60 minutes with a double broken shin so that the Équipe Tricolore did not have to continue to play ten times against Brazil. In France, however, the exchange option was not actually introduced until 1967. In 1976, the exchange quota was increased to two players, and it was extended to a basic right in which it no longer mattered whether the person who was substituted was actually injured; today a maximum of three changes are permitted. For this, the possible substitutes must be noted on the score sheet before kick-off, which currently (2013/14) may contain a total of 18 names in D1 and only 16 in D2.
  • From the beginning of the 1972/73 season, yellow and red cards were used to display personal punishments.
  • Shirt numbers on player jerseys became common from 1948, first in the national team, and soon after in the clubs. Nowadays the classic numbers 1 to 11 have had their day, which at the same time characterize the playing position of their wearer. But "fantasy numbers" in large amounts are still not permitted - the league regulations prohibit numbers over 30 with two exceptions: 33 is reserved for a player who replaces another one on the score sheet at short notice and who is allowed to do so in justified individual cases deviated from the rule. Furthermore, numbers 1, 16 and 30 are reserved for the goalkeepers of each team.
  • Commercial advertising on the jerseys has been allowed since 1968/69. The US Valenciennes-Anzin was the first club to make use of this clearance in December 1968 and advertised Vittel mineral water on the back of the shirt . However, the state television ORTF initially refused to broadcast matches in which one of the teams presented itself with advertising imprints.
  • Until 1962, the rule was that in all league games, the income between the two clubs involved was split 60:40 in favor of the home club, which primarily benefited clubs that, due to their playing attractiveness, attracted significantly more spectators away than at home games (as in particular for Stade de Reims until the early 1960s ).

Voluntary and forced relegations, license purchases and mergers

  • For the first time in the 30s (see above ) , then again at the beginning of the 1960s , there was a veritable wave of voluntary, economically justified exits from the professional sector, including former national champions (FC Sète, CO Roubaix-Tourcoing) and traditional clubs (CA Paris, AC Troyes, Le Havre AC, FC Nancy) were not spared. The years around 1990 were also marked by several bankruptcies, mostly followed by an immediate re-establishment under a new name.
  • There have been compulsory relegations, mostly for economic reasons up to bankruptcy, especially since the 1980s : in 1991, three clubs were declared despite their athletic qualifications (Girondins Bordeaux as 10th, Brest Armorique as 11th and OGC Nice as 14th in the table) condemned to relegation.
  • Some clubs were also evicted because of legal irregularities: Olympique Antibes had already bought a victory in 1932/33 and was therefore not allowed to play the championship final. Olympique Marseille subsequently received the championship title for 1993 revoked (" Affaire OM-VA ", bribery of players of the US Valenciennes-Anzin) and was also "transferred to the second division" a year later. Red Star Paris was even temporarily excluded from the professional field twice (1954 and 1960) for attempting bribes by opposing teams. It can therefore be stated that the association or league in France took action when manipulations became known. This also applies to doping cases : in 1995/96, for example, several players were banned for proven cannabis use (including, for two games, Fabien Barthez ), and in 1998 a professional was banned for 18 months for nandrolone doping.
  • Special features were the purchase of the league space of one club by another (Red Star Paris 1967 from Toulouse FC) or the merger of two clubs in order to maintain the league (RC Paris and UA Sedan-Torcy temporarily became RC Paris-Sedan in 1966; there are around 250 km between the two cities).

The championship trophy


The first French champion , Olympique Lille, received a large vase of flowers after the 1933 final, donated by the daily Le Petit Parisien and which remained in Lille's possession. The newspaper publisher therefore made a new trophy available from 1934, now as a challenge cup ; with this - after 1945 only given a different badge because the newspaper was called Le Parisien Libéré from then on - the respective champions of Division 1 were awarded until 2002 . However, there was only an occasional official handover ceremony on the last day of the season.

With the renaming of the league, a new championship trophy designed by Andrée Putman (“Trophée de Ligue 1”) was created and handed over to the championship team for the first time in 2003, right after the final whistle on the last match day. In 2006, the League Association decided that Olympique Lyon could keep the trophy for its five consecutive championships; therefore the association commissioned the sculptor Pablo Reinoso with the production of a new challenge cup, which has been honoring the master since May 2007. This trophy is called "Hexagoal" , a play on words made up of hexagons , as France is also known, and the English word Goal .

Systematic promotion of young talent

In the second half of the 1970s, a system of talent promotion that is still more intensive today was introduced, which obliges all professional clubs to set up a sports boarding school ( Center de Formation , CdF). Although this requires high investments, it also enables the less financially strong clubs to keep building good, young players into their own ranks and to generate significant income from their transfers to clubs at home and abroad. Occasionally even clubs that return to the amateur sector keep their CdF (like AS Cannes in 2004 ), because the existence of such an institution can be attractive for talented youngsters even with a third or fourth division. Certainly not every club can afford a facility like Girondins Bordeaux , which has its sports boarding school in the "Château Bel Air", a castle built in 1746 with extensive training grounds in Le Haillan ; But numerous clubs employ highly qualified staff for the youth sector, often also former professionals: at Bordeaux, for example, Gernot Rohr headed their training center for many years. The teams of the oldest youth age group take part in the French youth championship ( Coupe Gambardella ).

Since the 2002/03 season, the FFF has been evaluating this youth work annually with the aid of a differentiated point system (“Classement des centers de formation”) and awards the three best clubs. The previous winners have been AJ Auxerre (2003), Montpellier HSC (2004, 2005), Stade Rennes (six times in a row from 2006 to 2011) and FC Sochaux (2012).

FIFA also rates these investments highly: it calculates the cost per player and year at 90,000 euros (for a 16 to 18 year old); for each year of training before the 16th birthday, a further 10,000 euros are added to any transfer value. In return for this not only football, but also school education, graduates in France are obliged to sign their first professional contract for a maximum of three years with the training club. This regulation is occasionally circumvented by the fact that young players - often at the urging of their economically interested advisors - sign a contract with a foreign club. But that is the exception: from 1998 to 2006 this affected 17 cases, the best known including Mickaël Silvestre (from Rennes to Inter Milan), Guy Demel (from Nîmes to Arsenal) and Mathieu Flamini (from Marseille also to Arsenal).

The fact that the boarding schools are equally worthwhile for clubs and young players can be demonstrated in the 2007/08 season: of the total of 518 footballers in the 20 Ligue 1 squads, 173 (corresponding to 33.4%) are under contract with the club , from whose Center de Formation they come, that is, on average nine “self-made members” in a 26-player squad. It is not uncommon for these to be loaned out to a second or third division for a year when they come of age, in order to gain match practice there; afterwards, however, a significant portion is brought back from the parent club and built into its own first division squad. This is not only done by clubs that are sportingly or financially weaker - Bordeaux, Lille and Rennes, with a share of over 40%, are even well above the league average. The front runners are newly promoted FC Metz and AS Nancy, almost half of which played for these clubs before they came of age, while Lorient and Valenciennes (11 and 12% respectively) and Marseille and Paris (by 20%) only very much few players come from their own boarding school.

In the 2008/09 season, promoted Le Havre AC catapulted itself to the top of the league in this regard: 16 players, corresponding to two thirds of his squad, come from their own youth development; In addition, there are eight other footballers trained in Le Havre who are under contract with league competitors. Nancy, Lille, Monaco and Bordeaux also rely on a double-digit number of home grown products. At the bottom of this ranking are Nice, Lorient (4 each), Marseille (3) and Valenciennes (1).

The French football association itself also operates such “talent forges” in the various regions of the country, which work closely with the respective club boarding schools, as well as the INF (Institut national de formation) in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines near Paris , which is particularly dedicated to youth-specific coaching training and the Center technique national Fernand-Sastre .

In addition, all professional clubs must have a second team for young players (Reserve Pro or Equipe B) . These reserve teams take part in the game operations of the amateur leagues, so they cannot advance higher than the fourth-rate CFA . While 22 reserve teams played in the four seasons of this top amateur league in the 2007/08 season, there are only nine in 2013/14, eight of which are B-teams from the first division.

The professional world is largely in agreement that precisely these measures have contributed significantly to the permanent establishment of French football in the European elite - in addition to the fact that the league was a preferred destination for immigrants from the francophone world from an early stage .

The French league as a magnet for foreign players

The clear separation between paid and amateur football from 1932 onwards led to players from many European countries in France practicing their sport legally against payment as early as the 1930s, especially from the British Isles, Austria and Hungary, but also individual Germans such as Willibald Kress , who had been banned by the DFB because of alleged professional play for the 1932/33 season, and Oskar Rohr . In individual cases this was also favored by the political developments in the German-speaking countries; some players took on French citizenship, especially after the "Anschluss" of Austria , and then played for the French national football team (e.g. Rudolf "Rodolphe" Hiden , Heinrich "Henri" Hiltl , Gustav "Auguste" Jordan or Edmund "Edmond") Weiskopf ). In this way, the clubs were also able to circumvent the initial rule that no more than four foreigners were allowed to play per team. Due to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) , it attracted numerous players of Catalan and Basque origin, especially to clubs in the south of France. In addition, many immigrants from Italy and Poland, who were mainly involved in mining in northern France, or their sons and grandchildren have made a name for themselves in Ligue 1; Roger Piantoni , Michel Platini , Raymond Kopaczewski and Léon Glovacki should be mentioned as examples from the early years . Players from the French overseas possessions and the former colonies of the Grande Nation also increasingly shaped the league (from Larbi Ben Barek to Marius Trésor to Zinédine Zidane ). The history of all of you is a “scaled-down and time-delayed image of French immigration in the 20th century”.

Numbers of foreign professionals in France

(Each without naturalized players)

  • From 1932 to 1939 a total of 541 foreigners were under contract with the professional clubs of the D1 and D2, including 132 British, 108 Austrians, 84 Hungarians, 44 Czechs, 34 Spaniards, 22 Swiss and 21 Argentines.
  • From 1944 to 1997 a total of 2,281 foreigners played in D1 and D2, the largest groups being 265 Yugoslavs, 147 Algerians, 145 Argentines, 142 Poles, 121 Spaniards, 92 Senegalese, 87 Italians, 81 Moroccans, 75 Cameroonians, 74 Ivorians, 68 Dutch, 67 Brazilians, 66 Hungarians, 60 Germans, 50 Czechs and 49 Danes.
  • After 1997 no figures are available covering the entire period, but the trend that can be read (from “football migrants” from Western / Central Europe to players from sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe) has not changed significantly, nor has the attractiveness that France is particularly to Argentinians two of them ( Delio Onnis and Carlos Bianchi ) are among the most successful Ligue 1 scorers of all time. The mass “exodus” of Brazilian footballers is a relatively new phenomenon that can not only be observed in France. This is currently confirmed by the following figures (beginning of the 2013/14 season): of a total of 228 foreigners from 52 nations (corresponding to over 30% of all Ligue 1 players), 116 come from Africa (including 19 Senegalese, 15 Malians, 12 Ivorians and 9 Cameroonians) and 46 from South America (the 20 Brazilians represent the largest single nationality group overall; furthermore 12 Argentinians), as well as 61 footballers from 19 European countries and 5 from North and Central America. These relations are still valid at the end of the 2016/17 season.

What has changed a lot since the 1990s, however, is the "opposite direction": the number of French high-level players who leave Ligue 1 to go abroad for their part - especially in the top three European leagues ( England , Spain , Italy ) - making money. In the English Premier League, the 36 French made up the largest contingent of foreigners in 2010/11, ahead of the Irish and Scots. On the other hand, clubs in the German league only became a target for the French to a significant extent after a considerable delay (from around 2010). The Bosman ruling is responsible for this on the one hand, but also the good, systematic training of a large number of French footballers since their early youth; In addition, even leading clubs in the league can only rarely keep up with the financial resources of the G-14 and other foreign clubs (see also below ) .

Permissible number of foreign players

In 1938 the FFF felt compelled to limit their number to two per team because of the large influx of foreigners; During the "war championships" the Vichy regime tried - albeit unsuccessfully in view of its short life - even to ensure that only its own nationals did competitive sports. It should be noted, however, that France still had numerous colonies at that time, whose inhabitants were also considered French. For years, immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe as well as from the Antilles , the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa and their descendants played a major role in French football, in the league and in the national team, which, however, often led to nationalist and xenophobic criticism led. The right-wing extremist politician Jean-Marie Le Pen caused a scandal with his criticism of the composition of the national team when he complained at the turn of the millennium that he could no longer recognize a "French" team because of the high proportion of black and Arab players .

In 1958, the French association temporarily banned the hiring of new foreigners. With the introduction of the free movement of people within the European single market in the 1990s, a changed situation arose; Professional footballers from other EU countries are also allowed to offer their workforce in France without quantitative restrictions and are no longer subject to corresponding regulations for foreigners. The association and league have now adapted to this: Nowadays (as of 2006), Ligue 1 clubs are allowed to sign up to four (Ligue 2: two) players who are not from one of the countries of the EEA or one with the EU Associated Territory . These may also be used at the same time in league matches. Players from France's overseas possessions, dual citizens and naturalized (“naturalized”) professional footballers are not covered by this restrictive clause anyway.

Popular foreigners

In the summer of 2012, the editors of France Football compiled a list of the 50 best foreign players in France's premier league, which they themselves provided with the restriction that footballers from the period between the world wars were underrepresented because there was no editor and hardly any reader ever had the chance to see it in action. This compilation contains the majority of offensive players (28 forwards and 15 midfielders); a good half are Europeans, the largest contingent of them from the former Yugoslavia, followed by Brazilians and Argentines.
The 20 best are therefore:

rank player position nationality Associations
(from ... to ...)
in D1 / L1
1 Safet Sušić Storm Yugoslavia Paris Saint-Germain (1982-1991) 287 (65)
2 Josip Skoblar Storm Yugoslavia Marseille (1966/67, 1969–1974) 174 (151)
3 Juninho midfield Brazil Lyon (2001-2009) 248 (75)
4th Salif Keita Storm Mali Saint-Étienne (1967–1972),
Marseille (1972/73)
167 (135)
5 Abedi Pelé midfield Ghana Marseille (1987/88, 1990–1993), Lille (1988–1990),
Lyon (1993/94)
202 (42)
6th Carlos Bianchi Storm Argentina Reims (1973–1977), Paris Saint-Germain (1977–1979),
Strasbourg (1979/80)
220 (179)
7th Vahid Halilhodžić Storm Yugoslavia Nantes (1981–1986), Paris Saint-Germain (1986/87) 181 (101)
8th Delio Onnis Storm Argentina Reims (1971–1973), Monaco (1973–1980),
Tours (1980–1983), Toulon (1983–1986)
449 (299)
9 Raí midfield Brazil Paris Saint-Germain (1993–1998) 147 (51)
10 George Weah Storm Liberia Monaco (1988–1992), Paris Saint-Germain (1992–1995),
Marseille (2000/01)
218 (84)
11 Ivan Ćurković goal Yugoslavia Saint-Étienne (1972–1980) 303 (0)
12 Carlos Mozer Defense Brazil Marseille (1989-1992) 89 (4)
13 Pauleta Storm Portugal Bordeaux (2000-2003), Paris Saint-Germain (2003-2008) 266 (141)
14th Oswaldo Piazza Defense Argentina Saint-Étienne (1972–1979) 244 (17)
15th Sonny Anderson Storm Brazil Marseille (1993/94), Monaco (1994–1997),
Lyon (1999–2003)
221 (138)
16 Roger Magnusson Storm Sweden Marseille (1968–1974), Red Star (1974/75) 177 (25)
17th Gunnar Andersson Storm Sweden Marseille (1950–1958), Bordeaux (1958–1960) 234 (179)
18th Chris Waddle midfield England Marseille (1989-1992) 107 (22)
19th Jürgen Klinsmann Storm Germany Monaco (1992–1994) 65 (30)
20th Didier Drogba Storm Cote d'Ivoire Guingamp (2002-2003), Marseille (2003/04) 80 (38)

The other placed are

The substructure: Ligue 2

see main article Ligue 2

Introduction 1933/34

For the 1933/34 season, a second division, Division 2 (today: Ligue 2 ; D2 or L2), was created. In this way, the football association met the need of several clubs to be able to play under professional conditions without diluting the top performance with a Ligue 1 that was too large; In addition, this measure prevented the relegated team from D1 from having to play again under amateur conditions. In this first year, the D2 consisted of the six D1 relegated from the 1932/33 season and 15 clubs newly approved for the professional sector, which competed in two regional seasons (North with 13, South with eight clubs). Just one year later, the D2 also played in just one national season and was reduced to 14 teams; This contributed to the fact that only two new clubs (Lens, Caen) were awarded professional status for 1934/35, while several other clubs (Monaco, Hyères, Béziers) were denied due to financial deficits or voluntarily (such as D1 relegated Nice) went back to the amateur field.

Development to the present

Ligue 2 has changed its face more often than the top division. There are several reasons for this: until at least the 1980s in France, football was by no means so deeply rooted in audience favor and media interest that there would have been a sustainable financial basis for many more than about two dozen clubs, especially the fact that the hexagon was large and not as densely populated as Germany, leads to increased driving distances and travel costs and also enables local derbies that are less crowded. To illustrate, even an absolute top club from the 50s and early 60s like Stade de Reims only had a season average between 7,000 and 10,000 spectators in 16 of 17 seasons - and that in the top division.

The widespread discrepancy between relatively high costs and low income meant that the D2 was not organized on one, but on multiple tracks for longer periods of time:

  • two groups (north and south) 1933/34, 1945/46, 1972–1993
  • three groups (north, center and south) 1970–1972
  • four groups (north, east, south and west) 1937/38 with a subsequent “championship round” (phase finale) of the four best-placed teams

From 1970 to 1992, Division 2 was an "open" league in which both amateur and professional clubs were allowed to compete; before 1970 and again from 1992 it is a pure professional league.

In season 1948/49 played for short-term withdrawal of Angoulême AS of 1. FC Saarbrücken as FC Sarrebruck in D2 - very successful, but only out of competition. That is why the official final table of this season shows only 19 participants with Racing Lens and Girondins-AS du Port Bordeaux in first and second place. Had the Saarlanders' encounters been rated, the two promoted teams would have had to be called Sarrebruck and Bordeaux.
For the political and historical background to this interlude, see here .

The fundamental problems of the second division are even more evident in the third division (D3) introduced in 1936/37 , which was supposed to facilitate the transition between amateurism and professionalism, but in its “hybrid role” (both clubs with professional structures and amateur clubs play) can be aptly characterized by the phrase "Expenditure professionals, income amateurs".

After the Second World War, the number of relay teams, the number of clubs and the names for D2 and D3 changed at times, but this three-tier structure of the top performance still exists today and is based on a broad foundation of amateur game classes:

level League / Division
1 Ligue 1 (L1, D1 until 2002)
(20 clubs)
2 Ligue 2 (L2, until 2002 D2)
(20 clubs)
National 1 , until 2017 National
(18 clubs)
4th National 2 , until 2017 Championnat de France Amateur (CFA)
(16 clubs each in four regional relays)
5 National 3 , until 2017 Championnat de France Amateur 2 (CFA 2)
(14 clubs each in twelve regional relays)
6th Régional 1 , until 2017 Division d'Honneur (DH)
(at regional or partially at department level)
7th Regional 2 , until 2017 Division Supérieure d'Élite (DSE)
8th Régional 3 , until 2017 Division Supérieure Régionale (DSR)
9 Départemental 1 or District , until 2017 Division d'Honneur Régionale (DHR)
Including further league levels ( Départemental 2 , Départemental 2 , Interrégionale , Régionale , Promotion Interdistrict , Promotion de Ligue etc.)

The league names have changed repeatedly; The names currently valid (from the 2017/18 season) are named. Incidentally, the first place in Ligue 2 has recently been referred to as the French champion, albeit with the addition of the league title (Championnat de France D2 or L2) , and some clubs certainly list this second division title in their successes.

Organization of professional football today

Structure of the clubs

Until the first half of the 1990s , many clubs were organized according to association law (in France Association loi 1901 à statut renforcé ); they were led by individual men who had often invested considerable private funds in the club and then led it - sometimes for decades - according to their personal taste. This type of the “shirt-sleeved sun king” on the presidential chair is not unknown in German-speaking countries either. Overall, these represented only a minority, while numerous others such as Roger Rocher in Saint-Étienne or Henri Germain in Reims led their clubs extremely successfully and financially for many years. But presidents also repeatedly made negative headlines who maneuvered their club into the red for the sake of short-term success and for reasons of personal vanity, because they placed little value on commercial diligence and did not tolerate football experts next to them in the long term.

That is why the list of French professional clubs that had to file for bankruptcy between around 1965 and 1995 or found themselves in the amateur camp after persistent sporting failures is long: FC Nancy , Toulouse FC , US Valenciennes , Brest Armorique , also former champions such as FC Sète and Stade Reims , ... A few clubs have also been sentenced to relegation by the association for violating the statutes (see above ) .

In order to avoid this in the future, since then all professional clubs have to be structured according to stock corporation or corporation law, whereby different organizational forms are permitted. The SASP (Société Anonyme Sportive Professionnelle) and the SAOS (Société Anonyme à Objet Sportif) , that is, stock corporations ; SEMS ( Société d'Économie Mixte Sportive ), SARL ( Société à Responsabilité Limitée , roughly comparable to the German GmbH ) and EUSRL (Entreprise Unipersonelle Sportive à Responsabilité Limitée , a one-person company) are much less common .
Of the 61 teams in the top three leagues in the 2010/11 season, 45 belonged to a SASP, three to an SAOS, two to a SARL (including AS Monaco, a Société Anonyme under Monegasque law) and one to an EUSRL. Only ten (all third division teams) were still organized exclusively according to association law.

The corporations are each embedded as independent departments in the overall association. In France, too, the rights of club members in these societies are low; The president, the general director and the board of directors decide on the operational business, including in the sporting area, the control of which is incumbent on the supervisory board and the shareholders 'or partners' meeting. It is the presidents or chairmen of the board of these companies who - compared to the chairmen of the entire association - are in the media spotlight. It is very rare in France for simple club members to become co-owners of their clubs. They have only been able to become shareholders at Le Havre AC since 2008 - but only indirectly, namely through the umbrella organization of the HAC fan clubs (Fédération des supporters havrais) . From March 2017 they can also do this at EA Guingamp , and there also as individuals who can buy into the Club des Kalons ( Breton for "club of the courageous") for 40 euros each and thus become shareholders. The association expects around 7,000 members to join.
In addition to the professional football department, the clubs must also maintain amateur and youth teams and train young players (see above ) .

The French professional club of the 21st century still knows the influential individual without whom no major decisions can be made in the club; However, they, often acting as the main financier in the presidium or supervisory board, can usually not afford to go it alone and are anything but ignorant in financial issues due to their biography. This new type includes, among others, the fashion designer Daniel Hechter (in the 70s and 80s with Paris Saint-Germain and Strasbourg) and the billionaire Robert Louis-Dreyfus , who at the end of 2006 bought his majority stake in Olympique Marseille for 115 million euros to the Canadian Jack wanted to sell Kachkar .
Even today, numerous presidents lead the professional division of their club for a long time. In 2014, for example, Montpellier's Louis Nicollin has been in office for 40 years, Jean-Michel Aulas from Lyon for 17 and the presidents of Bordeaux, Toulouse, Caen, Lille and Reims for at least ten years.

So far, only two clubs have been listed on the stock exchange. This was made possible by an amendment to the law initiated by the Senate in December 2006. The pioneer was Olympique Lyon, who raised around € 100 million in fresh capital in this way at the beginning of 2007. However, compared to the issue price of € 24 at the time, this share has now suffered a considerable loss in value - up to € 1.73 on April 10, 2013. In June 2007, a club followed with FC Istres , which at that time had just been relegated to the third division . A discussion about the extent to which the return expectations of “non-sporting” capital owners can affect the operational processes within a club is only just beginning.

The example of Olympique Lyon shows in which fields at least the most successful clubs operate. Under the umbrella of a joint holding , the OL Groupe , there is the SASP Olympique Lyonnais , which makes up the core business of the group, namely the football department. In addition, there are independent companies, but under a single brand, OL Phone , OL Voyages , OL Café , OL Boisson , OL Music , OL Coiffure , OL Taxi , Restaurant Argenson Gerland and Cro Lyon Boulangeries (an OL Land for the planned new stadium was added in 2007) - All in all, a wide-ranging business field, in whose sales football now only accounts for around 70%. However, there are not even a handful of clubs in Ligue 1 that have the basics to transform themselves into a similarly diversified group (see also below ) .

The LFP - representation of professional clubs

The differences in interests between the majority of clubs working under amateur conditions and the narrow stratum of professionally organized clubs openly broke out immediately after the Second World War. The latter accused the FFF, not unjustly, of having hardly resisted political attempts to abolish professionalism in sport during the war years. The fronts between the two parts of organized football hardened until the late 1960s ; In the eventful May 1968 , representatives of several amateur clubs even occupied the headquarters of the FFF in Paris under the slogan “Le football aux footballeurs!” (“Football for footballers!”). Only then was there a rapprochement that resulted in a lasting compromise in 1970.

Since then, Ligue 1 is no longer subordinate to the French association or its groupement of the Club Professionnels , but to the Ligue de Football Professionnel , which, under the umbrella of the FFF, decides largely autonomously on all questions relating to league operations. The LFP includes the two highest divisions (Ligue 1 and Ligue 2); These are, however, open to the third league, the also single-track national (D3), due to a fixed promotion and relegation regulation (currently three teams each) - the league can therefore choose its applicants as little as its departures, but only decide on athletic ones Criteria. There is, however, the possibility of refusing professional status to clubs for financial reasons, because promoters generally have to prove their economic performance. A few years ago, for example, this led to a second club from the Corsican capital Ajaccio ( Gazélec FC ) being denied admission to the professional field because, given the low, mostly four-digit attendance figures below Ligue 1, the potential for two clubs from the same city if it does not have at least 100,000 inhabitants, has been and is rated as insufficient.

In addition, the LFP organizes the League Cup (Coupe de la Ligue) , in which only professional teams (in 2007/08 the 40 first and second division and five clubs from the D3) take part and which, as in many other countries, is comparatively less attractive owns. Furthermore, the LFP is now responsible for all French youth national teams, the men's B-Elf and all women's national teams. In return, it pays the FFF around 10% of its income from rights trading annually.

Since May 2002 Frédéric Thiriez has been President of the LFP ; he resigned in April 2016 shortly before the end of his second seven-year term. In the meantime the league has given itself an ethics and an anti-racism charter, the latter under the title “Put racism on the sidelines”.

In mid-October 2007, seven clubs (Girondins Bordeaux, RC Lens, OSC Lille, Olympique Lyon, AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and FC Toulouse) founded an "elite circle of the great", the Football avenir professionnel (FAP), the should be open to all league members according to their own understanding and want to influence the future of top football. According to the President Jean-Michel Aulas, who was elected for five years, the interests of the strongest first division clubs diverged from those of the other professional clubs so much that the FAP had to be founded. This process met with criticism in the media, but also at other clubs - for example, Olympique Marseille and AS Saint-Étienne deliberately did not join the FAP - because it was not only because of the wide divergent financial possibilities of the LFP members and the participation of three clubs at the G-14 is seen as a further step to divide professional football. In May 2008 the FAP announced its dissolution.

The players' union UNFP

see also the main article Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels

The realization that professional footballers have to organize in order to assert their interests against their employers is almost as old in France as professionalism. In 1934 the Amicale des joueurs professionnels was created , which in 1936 developed into a union-like association (syndicat) . His main topics were regulations regarding player transfers, which included those affected, and the reimbursement of medical expenses in the event of injury. The main initiators of the organization included Jacques Mairesse , Edmond Delfour , Étienne Mattler , Raoul Diagne and a few others, mostly national players. At the end of 1937 they announced a players 'strike for an international match, which had no consequences due to massive threats by the FFFA and insufficient support from players' circles. With Mairesse's death in World War I, this movement fell asleep for a decade and a half.

In November 1961, a new interest group was founded in the form of the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels , which is now more influential than its German sister and has a seat and a voice in the LFP. The driving force behind its creation was the Cameroonian player Eugène Njo-Léa , a dangerous goalscorer and 1957 also national champion with AS Saint-Étienne, who later received his doctorate in law. The first chairmen of the UNFP were Just Fontaine (until 1964) and Michel Hidalgo (1964 to 1968). The current president has been Philippe Piat since 1969 (between 1965 and 1972 a successful D1 goalscorer at Racing Strasbourg, AS Monaco and FC Sochaux), who at times also chaired the international players' union FIFPro . The UNFP now has a “double leadership”: Co-President alongside Piat is Sylvain Kastendeuch , a long-time professional with over 570 top division appearances at three clubs.

Today her main fields of activity are advising and representing professional footballers on contractual and sports law issues. In addition, it organizes opportunities to keep fit for players who have temporarily become unemployed, and is also breaking new ground: in the summer of 2006, they can voluntarily take part in a coaching course in Clairefontaine, in order to enable the future football teachers to apply their theoretical learning material in practice. also to get interested in a trainer training.

The idea for this interest representation arose at a time when the players were "slaves of the clubs" (according to Raymond Kopa in an interview with the daily France Dimanche in June 1963 ): since the 1940s , the signature of someone who was mostly inexperienced in contractual matters, young player that he could not leave the club until his 35th birthday without his consent. It is true that the professional statutes also said that the club and the players should “mutually regulate” an early termination of the contract; but if the club resisted, the player had no legal right to it. The player was entitled to around 10% of the transfer fee, which the transferring club could freely negotiate in the event of a change. With an unrealistically high demand, the club was able to prevent a player from leaving at any time. Conversely, players had no say if their club sold them to someone else.

The example of Roger Piantoni illustrates that the Kopa, which tends to be clear-cut, is by no means exaggerated in its characterization of the provisions . The gifted left-footer, who came from the simplest proletarian background (miners' family), signed his first contract in 1950 at the age of 18 with FC Nancy , a rather mediocre club in Division 1 , and has always stood up for his team and his employer to the last . In 1954, both Internazionale Milan and Juventus Turin sought to sign him and the grandson of Italian immigrants asked his president to give him this chance to return to his roots. It should be added that Piantoni was an extremely modest person who, even after he had long since become a national player, lived with his wife and children in an anything but luxurious city apartment and only afforded a small car. His disappointment was enormous when his president simply told him that Nancy FC did not want to part with their best player. In 1957 Nancy was relegated from the first division and then sold Piantoni to Stade de Reims , which was certainly a significant improvement for the striker from a sporting point of view. But only years later did he find out from Reims' President Henri Germain what his old club had always kept from him, namely that his new employer had been making annual payments to Nancy since 1952 in order to give himself a right of first refusal to the player in the event of an early contract termination to back up.

Incidentally, in 1963 Kopa was banned from the Professionnels Club for six months for his statements , albeit on probation. And it took almost a decade before the UNFP succeeded in abolishing the "eternal" ties between players and their first club: from the 1969/70 season on, player contracts were basically only concluded for a freely negotiable period.

Nowadays, such contracts can be canceled at any time if the club and the players agree. Unilateral dissolutions, however, are prohibited in accordance with the 2001 rule of the World Federation for players up to their 28th birthday for three years and for older two years; Violations against this are sanctioned. In practice, however, clubs often give up their resistance to a premature change of club if the transfer fee is increased accordingly (see Michael Essien , who was finally able to move from Olympique Lyon to Chelsea in 2005 for € 38 million ).

In addition to the UNFP, there is also the Union Patronale des Clubs Professionnels de Football (UCPF), which was founded in 1990 and consists of representatives of the corporations in French professional football clubs , i.e. the owners and employers, but at the same time as representatives of their employees - i.e. mainly the Player - understands. In order to clarify this “care function” for its employees in the name, the UCPF, initially only called the Union of the Professionnels de Football Club, added the adjective “patronal” in 1994.

The refereeing

Unlike players, coaches, club and association officials, the referees of the two professional leagues in France are no longer amateurs - because they now also receive a four-digit euro amount for their assignments - but they usually pursue another livelihood. The introduction of full-time referees is once again part of the public discourse in France every year: in 2001, the FFF set up the Direction Technique Nationale de l'Arbitrage (DTNA, DNA since 2004), which has since dealt with this and other questions dealing with refereeing (e.g. improved training, introduction of goal cameras, etc.).

In the 2011/12 season, a top class referee (arbitre fédéral 1) received a fixed monthly fee of € 2,800 and € 2,474 per game (both gross). In addition, a one-off payment was made after the end of a career as a contribution to old-age security of € 12,500 per year belonging to this group. The Ligue 1 referees, however, are demanding an increase in the commission fee to € 4,500 per game management, especially since the FFF has had significantly higher income since the beginning of 2011 due to the sponsorship change from Adidas to Nike .

In France - this is also not a national peculiarity - it is doubted whether enough suitable people are willing to forego another occupation for such a salary; because an arbitrator can carry out his activity up to the age limit (currently 46 years) at this level for a maximum of approx. 20 years. In mid-2016, a group of top referees was determined who should now act as professionals. The highest ranking among them, FIFA elite referee Clément Turpin , should earn a gross monthly amount of 8,000 euros plus 2,000 euros per appointment, the others less.

In addition, French game masters had an international reputation in the past as amateurs: Georges Capdeville , Maurice Guigue (they led the World Cup finals in 1938 and 1958), Robert Wurtz , Michel Vautrot or Joël Quiniou (who even played in three World Cup tournaments) were considered as proven masters of their subject in their active time.

In April 1996 Nelly Viennot , who ended her career in 2007 and has been working in refereeing since then, was the first woman to whistle a professional game in France. She was followed by Karin Vives-Solana , Séverine Zinck and Stéphanie Frappart up to and including 2011 .

Currently, the 235 top French referees (Arbitres de Fédération) are divided into five categories, of which the members of the top two levels are used in professional league games - in the 2012/13 season: 36 referees, including no women - and from among them also recruit those that the FFF reports to the World Association for International Operations. Between these five performance levels and the base below, there is promotion and relegation after the end of the season, just like between the football leagues, which depends on a performance evaluation system for each individual referee and is decided by a commission ( Commission d'Arbitrage ).

A national referee association has existed since 1967, the Union Nationale des Arbitres de Football (UNAF); In 2004, with the Amicale Française des Arbitres de Football (AFAF), a more “grassroots” structured competition was added. Membership in these organizations is voluntary. In July 2006, the match officials appointed in Ligue 1 and 2 also created their own body ( Syndicat des arbitres de football d'élite , SAFE) to represent their interests vis-à-vis the LFP, but also the published opinion, and Tony Chapron as their first chairman elected. In order to emphasize their demand for an increase in their salary, the first division referees wanted to whistle the first and second division games in a concerted action with a quarter of an hour delay on the first weekend of March 2011 and not wear the jerseys of the new association sponsor. The FFF responded by changing the schedule at very short notice: in Ligue 1, referees were used, with one exception, who normally lead games in the third and fourth leagues.

Since 2002 the referees in the two professional leagues, in the national and league cups, have been wearing advertising for a household appliance retail chain on their sleeves, which pays around € 650,000 a year for this and also invests considerable financial and organizational resources in the training of junior referees. For example, the company BUT (meaningly translated TOR ) organizes together with the FFF the annual "Days of Refereeing", at which young people are to be interested in such an activity on over 300 sports fields throughout France - which has been more in the past four years than 6,000 new referees.

Financing: income and expenditure

According to the latest study by the auditing company Deloitte , the 22nd Annual Review of Football Finance for the 2011/12 season, Ligue 1 is still in fifth place with € 1.136 billion in sales behind its English (2.179), German (1.872), Spanish (1,765) and Italian (1,570) competitors.

Audience numbers

The average number of spectators in the premier league stadiums exceeded the 20,000 mark from 1999/2000 up to and including 2009/10 (until 2012/13, however, they were again below 19,750, 18,870 and 19,260), but the numbers naturally fluctuate between the two individual clubs very strong, and even the crowd pullers like Olympique Marseille (since the 1997/98 season regularly the most spectators), Olympique Lyon (in the 2005/06 season: 26,000 season tickets sold) and Paris Saint-Germain cover their budgets to less than half through sales at the ticket booths ( see below for admission prices ). It was not until 2007/08 that the record for a single game (57,714 paying spectators in the match between Marseille and Lyon), dating back to the 1998/99 season, was exceeded when the duel between Lille and Lyon drew 77,840 spectators - at the Stade de France in Paris . In the 2012/13 season, the 19 home games of the clubs each had the following mean attendance figures: at the top were champions Paris 43,239, Lille 40,593, Marseille 33,473, Lyon 32,086, Saint-Étienne 22,966 and Bordeaux 19,403. At the bottom of this ranking were relegated Brest with 11,697 ahead of Bastia (11,617), Nice (10,246), Évian TG (10,211) and Ajaccio (6,801).
In 2014/15, the total numbers for Ligue 1 increased significantly (an increase of around 1,200 visitors compared to the previous season) and recorded 22,337 visitors per game.

These numbers have only developed very slowly for decades. In the 1947/48 season (for the previous time no reliable total figures are available), an average of 9,700 spectators attended the games in Division 1 and in 1952/53 a temporary high was reached with 11,100 visitors. Twenty years later (1973/74: 10,400 paying people on average) and even after the successes of the national team in the 1980s ( European champion in 1984 , world championship semi-finalist in 1982 and 1986 ), the number of spectators only fluctuated around 10,000 each year. It was not until 1997/98 that the 15,000 mark was exceeded, two years later the 20,000 mark; this has undoubtedly been significantly influenced by winning the world championship title in one's own country, but at the same time shows how difficult it was for football to prevail against the traditional French sports mentioned at the beginning.

Television money

The beginnings

For the very first live broadcast of a league game - on December 29, 1956 - the host Stade de Reims only received a compensation payment from RTF , which compensated for the difference between the viewing income for this game against FC Metz and the average income from other home games; an estimated 700,000 viewers watched the game on television. But Division 1 games were only shown live again from the mid-1960s : four in the 1965/66 season, seven in 1968/69. For the season 1969/70 the broadcaster agreed to pay at least 120,000 FF (equivalent to almost 40,000 €) for each live broadcast; In view of the low audience response, RTF ended this attempt in November 1969.

It was not until September 1977 - at the same time as the high point of AS Saint-Étienne's success curve - that league football returned to the French screens; For a total of 450,000 FF, TF1 was given the right to show summaries of all championship encounters in its Téléfoot magazine late on Saturday . Two years later, the state broadcaster paid FF 3 million per season for this. Live broadcasts were only available again from November 1984, when the private broadcaster Canal + began to show a full game per game day for FF 250,000. Since September 3, 1996, all premier league games can be seen live with this provider for a fee .

Current developments

At the present time, as in other countries, the clubs in the top two leagues are very dependent on the payments made by the television stations, their sponsors and the income from merchandising (mainly jersey sales and similar fan articles). In the 2006/07 season Canal + paid around 600 million euros , Eurosport 15 million and the mobile operator Orange 29 million euros to LFP, which served the clubs in the top two divisions and the current six professional clubs in the third division; Even for successes in the League Cup (Coupe de la Ligue) , amounts are paid out from this total budget. From the 2008/09 season the French league will be available exclusively to television, internet and mobile phone subscribers, with the exception of one and a half minutes of short game reports based on French information law; Canal + (465 million) and Orange (203 million) paid € 668 million per season for this until 2011. This decision by the LFP had triggered a storm of indignation in France and also called the supervisory authority Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel into action ; the CSA later determined the right to free reporting for several minutes. Canal + and the league had already given in at the beginning of March 2008: in future there should be an unencrypted summary of the match day, which the station will broadcast on Sunday afternoon - i.e. without the Sunday evening game.

From 2012 to 2016, in addition to Canal +, the Qatar- based channel Al Jazeera will also be broadcasting L1 games on a regular basis for the first time , which also has the international rights for 195 million euros per season until 2018 and two French-language, pure sports channels (beIN Sport 1 and 2) has set up. The five most attractive emission rights packages awarded cost a total of 510 million euros annually, of which Canal + pays 420. As a result of the income generated in a further bidding round for the remaining packages, including the mobile phone service previously operated by Orange, television monies rose to EUR 607 million by 2016 and will rise to EUR 748.5 million annually for the period from 2016 to 2020.

TV receipts remained practically constant from 2000 to 2003, then grew rapidly: while they amounted to € 256.3 million in the 2003/04 season, they rose to € 351.4 million in 2004/05 and to € 559.4 million in 2005/06. €. In the 2012/13 season, the Ligue 1 clubs alone received € 489.8 million, the 20 second division clubs € 88.4 million. A distribution key is used, which is composed of a basic amount that is the same for everyone (€ 11.73 million) as well as performance-based bonuses (table position, audience ratings and five-year rating for both criteria). In 2013, runners-up Marseille were entitled to 48.0 million, champions Paris 44.1 and third-placed Lyon 44.0 million, Bordeaux, Lille and Saint-Étienne each between 32.1 and 30.4 million; six other clubs received between € 19.6 and 26.0 million. In contrast, only 12.9 million flowed into the coffers of the ascending and relegated Troyes - not much more than a quarter of what Marseille received - for the other two newcomers Bastia and Reims the share was 16.5 and 16.5 million respectively. € 15.6 million.

This distribution is regularly the subject of criticism during the summer break because, for example, at the end of the 2008/09 season, the seventeenth-placed near-relegated from Saint-Étienne around 23.5 million, but the more successful Valenciennes FC (12th place) only a good two thirds received from it. This is countered primarily by the beneficiary clubs that they are actually the disadvantaged for reasons of solidarity with the smaller, less attractive clubs, because they could achieve significantly higher income if they were freely marketed.

Quite a few clubs are now reliant on TV broadcasters' payments for better or worse: at Auxerre these payments account for 79% of total revenues in the 2005/06 season, for Troyes, Valenciennes and Sedan just under 70%. Even Marseille and Saint-Étienne, which, thanks to their past successes, can boast of high popularity and above-average audience numbers, cover their budgets to almost 50% from this television money. The mean value of all professional clubs (first and second league) was 54% in the 2009/10 season - in Ligue 1 alone it was 57% - while 19% is earned through sponsorship and 14% from ticket sales.

Club sponsors

In France, too, in view of the very limited publication requirement, exact information on income from shirt and gang sponsorship is often estimates and should therefore only be treated with caution. Paris Saint-Germain, for example, has won Emirates Airlines as a shirt sponsor for 2006–2009 , which pays around € 5 million per season. The defending champion's players are worth even more: allegedly, the Accor hotel chain transfers € 15 million to Lyon each year.

In France, in addition to clothing suppliers, unlike in Germany, several sponsors can be named on jerseys and pants. In addition, at many clubs the home and away shirts are flocked with different advertising. Another special feature is that a number of French municipalities , departments and regions use their association as an advertising medium through sponsorship ; this is currently the case with Auxerre, Lorient, Lyon, Nantes, Rennes, Saint-Étienne and Sochaux. In the late summer of 2006, advertising for online sports betting providers was also banned in France, which put some clubs in financial difficulties in view of the short-term loss of income.

League sponsor

Ligue 1.jpg

From the 2007/08 season, the mobile phone company Orange owned the right to name the two top divisions, which were officially called Ligue 1 Orange and Ligue 2 Orange . As in other countries, however, these terms have not caught on either in common parlance or in the print media; only the television and radio stations use these names more often.

From 2012 to 2017 the top division was again Ligue 1, without a sponsor.

In the 2017/18 season it was called Ligue 1 Conforama up to and including the 2019/20 season .

Ligue1 Conforama.svg

From 2020 to 2022, Uber Eats will be the new name sponsor and will have to pay almost 15 million euros. The official name of the league is then Ligue 1 Uber Eats.

Balance sheets and expenses of the clubs

The audited annual balance sheets as of June 30, 2012 showed that nine of the 20 top division clubs show a negative balance, which is the result of Bordeaux (minus 14.2 million euros), relegated Auxerre (minus 16.4 million) and Lyon (minus 28 million euros) .) is particularly high. A particularly positive balance sheet result was posted at Lille and Ajaccio with a good 3 million euros each. It looks even more problematic in the second division, where only three clubs are in the black.

In the 2013/14 season, the 20 Ligue 1 clubs spent a total of € 1.85 billion, an average of € 92.7 million. Five clubs are significantly higher, with the “nouveau riche” from Paris Saint-Germain still standing out lonely, followed by the first division returnee Monaco. The richest and the “poorest” (including the other two promoted clubs) are shown below; eight clubs make up the midfield, spending between € 45 million and € 82 million.

Clubs with the
highest spending
(€ million)
Paris Saint-Germain 496
AS Monaco 293
Olympique Marseille 145
Olympique Lyon 138
Lille OSC 115
Associations with the
lowest expenditure
(€ million)
FC Évian TG 036
FC Nantes 035
Valenciennes FC 033
SC Bastia 031
EA Guingamp 028
Stade Reims 028
AC Ajaccio 022nd

Since the mid-1990s, the expenses of the French clubs have developed in line with the increasing income from television rights and have more than quadrupled: if a first division club had an average of € 13.2 million available in 1994/95, two years later they could manage € 18 million. Already spent € 33.7 million in 1999/2000, € 36.5 million in 2004/05 and € 42.5 million in 2006/07.

Player salaries

At the end of the 1930s, there was an upper earnings limit of 42,000 old francs per year including all bonuses. Even after the Second World War, the income opportunities were rather modest, even for top players; In 1954 the association set a range from 30,000 to 65,000 FF, with national players being allowed to be paid up to 90,000 FF. With the increase in television money and especially after the Bosman ruling in the 1990s, there was an almost explosive increase in salaries in France too. However, there is just as little disclosure requirement there as in other countries, so the published figures are only to be understood as an approximation. In addition, the salaries to be paid by the clubs (basic income and success bonuses) only make up around 40 to 60% of the total amount; In addition, there are in particular one-off payments upon conclusion of the contract (“hand money”), salary shares assumed by sponsors or supporters and advertising income.

In the 2008/09 season there were only four players who received more than € 4 million gross from their respective club each year - without bonuses and income from advertising contracts - in 2012/13 there were eleven, in 2014/15 20 players earned between 20 players including bonuses 3.6 and 23 million euros. This increase is mainly due to Paris Saint-Germain, where a dozen of these top earners are under contract, including the six leaders ( Thiago Silva , Zlatan Ibrahimović , David Luiz , Edinson Cavani , the only French Blaise Matuidi and Ezequiel Lavezzi ). Four players from Marseille, two from Lyon and one each from Lille and Monaco complete this group. A special regulation of the Income Tax Act for top earners (Section 81C of the Code général des impôts ) introduced in 2008 , according to which foreigners who were previously not taxable in France and French people who had earned their income abroad for at least the previous five years, contributed to this development. can enjoy between 30 and 50% of their gross income tax-free for a maximum of five years.

While the incomes of top earners have been rising steadily since 2007/08, the mean annual earnings of all Ligue 1 professionals developed inconsistently, rising from 351,500 (2003) to 535,000 (2008) to 615,500 € (2009), decreased in 2011 / 12 to € 540,000 and in 2012/13 even to € 370,000. In 2014/15 it was higher again at around € 480,000. The average of all second division professionals, on the other hand, was only € 180,000 gross in 2008/09.

At the same time, however, it can be seen that the growing television income is primarily being spent on player obligations and salaries. The gross wages of the D1 clubs increased by 2 (Marseille; however at a very high level) to 80% (Lille) in 2005/06 compared to 2004/05, only one of the 17 clubs remaining in the league reduced its expenses (Monaco, −10% ). The total of these 17 rose from € 321.3 million to € 397.3 million, an average of € 18.9 million to € 23.4 million, which corresponds to an increase of almost 24% within one year.

It has to be taken into account that the clubs incur considerable personnel costs over and above the salaries for their professionals, especially since the amateurs don't just play “for air and love”. At an average club like Racing Lens, for example, at the beginning of 2008 the number of paid employees was around 200: 70 players and coaches (including the Center de formation ), 70 employees in the main office and around 60 in the external branches (ticket sales , Merchandising, etc.).

Match days and reporting

In the 2013/14 season, the game days usually take place on the weekend, and due to the wishes of the pay TV channels beIn Sport and Canal +, one Ligue 1 game on Friday evening, six or seven games on Saturday and two or three on Sunday (kick-off times: 14 , 5 p.m. or 8 p.m.), so that a total of up to seven games can be broadcast live. Ligue 2 usually plays on Friday evenings and there is also a game on Monday. In addition to these live broadcasts and the offer for smartphone and tablet users at Orange , sports enthusiasts can regularly find out about top local football from numerous other French TV channels plus the Monegasque Radio Monte Carlo .

In the print media , football fans in France will find extensive coverage: L'Équipe has a daily newspaper (including all sports) - including Saturdays and Sundays - and France Football , called “The Bible of Football”, has a newspaper on Tuesdays and Fridays published magazine.


For the 1998 World Cup , several stadiums in France were built or rebuilt, both municipal and club-owned facilities, the latter still being the exception. On the occasion of the award of the 2016 European Championship finals to France, there will be new buildings and renovations. Regulations of FIFA and UEFA , the financial weakness of some community and the interest of the clubs in achieving higher revenue lead in recent years increasingly to the French football that even in this respect more and more the trend of other European leagues approaches ( "Versitzplatzung" , more convenience, name sales, big screens, better merchandising in the stadiums, etc.). The typical French stadium of earlier decades, the Stade Vélodrome with the pitch inside the asphalt velodrome, no longer exists in the professional leagues: the last until 2008 was the Stade Auguste-Delaune , traditional venue of the second division Stade Reims, to (and that means : practically new) built; Even the stadium in Marseille is only called that, but no longer has a cycle track. LFP President Thiriez stated in summer 2007:

“France is 15 years behind the other major European leagues in terms of stadiums. Too bad for nostalgic people, but we need to raise the standard; this applies to all venues, including those that have been modernized since the 1998 World Cup. "

- France Football of June 26, 2007, p. 22.

One of the special features is that in many stadiums individual stands are named after important players from the past, for example the Tribune Piantoni in Nancy or the Tribune Méano in Reims. The sale of stadium names to wealthy companies, however, has so far been prevented in France. The desire to use this source of income does exist, however: around the turn of the year 2009/10, the possible renaming of the city's Prinzenpark in favor of expansion financing is again in the cards. So far, numerous PSG supporters have massively opposed this: there were already banners such as “The Parc is not a whore” and “Coca-Cola stadium for our sanctuary?” To be read. Something similar happened in Marseille in the summer of 2010. In contrast, the construction of a new venue for Le Mans FC will be the first in France to bear the name of a sponsor, Mutuelle du Mans Assurances , and will be called MMArena when it is completed.

With a league average of 21,500 spectators per game (2005/06 season), it is noticeable that the capacity of at least nine of the twenty current top division stadiums did not allow such a number of spectators. On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that the Sochaux stadium, for example, has a larger capacity than the city has inhabitants.

The table below shows the capacity of the stadiums approved by the LFP for 2015/16 league games; it can deviate from these figures at other events, for example by reducing or enlarging the standing room areas.

rank city Surname capaci-
01 Marseille Stade Velodrome a f g 67,394
02 Décines-Charpieu Groupama Stadium 59,286
03 Villeneuve-d'Ascq Stade Pierre-Mauroy 50.157
04th Paris Parc des Princes a 48,527
05 Bordeaux Stade Matmut-Atlantique 42,115
06th Saint-Etienne Stade Geoffroy-Guichard a b f g 42,000
07th Nantes Stade de la Beaujoire 38.004
08th Nice Stade de Nice 35,624
09 Toulouse Municipal Stadium a b 33,500
10 Montpellier Stade de la Mosson a 32,939
11 Rennes Roazhon Park 29,778
12 Reims Stade Auguste-Delaune 21,628
13 Caen Stade Michel-d'Ornano 21,250
14th Troyes Stade de l'Aube 20,400
15th Lorient Stade du Moustoir e 18,910
16 Fontvieille Stade Louis II 18,523
17th Guingamp Stade de Roudourou 18,126
18th Angers Stade Jean-Bouin 18,000
19th Bastia Stade Armand Cesari 17,600
20th Ajaccio Stade Ange Casanova 05,000
a Stadium expanded for the 1998 World Cup
b (almost) pure seating stadium
cOlympique Lyon is planning a new club building with around 60,000 seats in Décines , against which there is massive local resistance.
dOGC Nice is planning a new building for 32,000 spectators in Saint-Isidore .
e from the 2010/11 season with an artificial turf playing surface
f reduced capacity due to renovation in the 2012/13 season
G was expanded for the European Football Championship 2016

Note on spelling: In France, stadiums are usually written with a hyphen between the first and last name of the person after whom they are named.

Admission prices 2006/07

In France, too, stadiums differ considerably in terms of comfort, proximity to the pitch and quality of view for individual visitors; there are also different categories within the seating or standing room. Accordingly, the Ligue 1 clubs charge very wide admission prices for attending a normal point game, although these are partly an expression of different purchasing power in the respective catchment area and the performance of the team.

The ticket prices for the single standing room in the 2006/07 season start at € 5–6 (in Le Mans, Rennes, Auxerre, Lille, Valenciennes and - surprisingly only at first glance - Monaco), while in Bordeaux, Lens, Nantes , Paris, Saint-Étienne, Sochaux and Troyes 9-10 €, in Marseille and Sedan as much as 15 €.

This ratio of 1: 3 between the cheapest and most expensive minimum price is, however, significantly exceeded by the price range of the best seat category in each case. The latter ranges from € 24 (Auxerre) to € 330 (Marseille), which gives a ratio of almost 1:14, although the maximum prices of these two clubs are extremely below or above those in the remaining 18 stadiums. In Le Mans, Lorient, Sedan, Toulouse, Troyes and Valenciennes the most expensive place costs € 36–40, with nine top division clubs between € 45 and € 62. Significantly more, but still far less than in Marseille, the spectator in Bordeaux (€ 72), Lyon (€ 100) and Paris (€ 140) has to pay. Apparently there are enough people in Paris, Marseille and Lyon, the three largest cities in France , who are willing to pay a three-digit euro amount for a normal football game.

Organized fan groups and changing the audience structure

As early as the 1950s, a number of teams had fan clubs, which - like the largest at the time, Allez Reims!  - sometimes even operated with the support of the club offices. Today the structures in the fan scene hardly differ from those in other European leagues: from the traditional membership organization, which is characterized by a higher average age, to the younger Ultras , who often contribute particularly to the atmosphere in the stadiums with their “ choreos ” , the entire range is represented. The association and league organization also regard the fans (“supporters” in French) no longer just as paying “accessories”, but rather as contributors to an event: the LFP organized a “national championship of spectators” (Championnat de France des tribunes in 2006/07 for the first time ) ) , at the end of which the best audience in Ligue 1 (winners: AS Saint-Étienne ) and 2 ( SM Caen ) was awarded. In 2007/08 and 2008/09 the spectators at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard were able to repeat this success. Mood and fairness are the criteria by which the winners of this cup were determined. For this, the LFP has even agreed to allow the controlled burning of normally forbidden “ pyros ” in French stadiums : at the Norman second division football between Le Havre AC and SM Caen at the end of August 2006, individual representatives of the two fan camps were allowed to fire a quarter of an hour before kick-off - in Inside and under the supervision of the fire brigade - ignite your fireworks batteries. Otherwise, the repeated use of such "tuning means" will be severely punished; For example, Olympique Marseille had to play a home game behind closed doors in early 2007 and again in spring 2009.

Hooliganism and the willingness to use violence in the context of league games have declined in recent years. But there are still special mutual "love-hate games", often between fan groups from neighboring clubs, the most cited being that between the fans of AS Saint-Étienne and Olympique Lyon , which was also expressed again in the second half of the 2006/07 season. On the other hand, the opposition between the fans of Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Marseille is partially artificially created, with the late 1980s the television station and PSG sponsor Canal + and OM's President Tapie - as both sides later admitted - the interest in the encounters between wanted to "heat up" both teams . After the cancellation of a match between OM and PSG at very short notice in October 2009 - many Parisian spectators had already arrived in Marseille - massive clashes broke out between supporters of the two clubs in the city. In February 2010, a PSG fan died on the sidelines of the second leg against Marseille in clashes between warring Parisian fan groups. In and around the Parc des Princes in particular , violent conflicts have been rising for a number of years between ultras from the Boulogne tribune , known as the “curve of the white [sic!], More politically right-wing Parisians”, and supporters from the Auteuil tribune , on which there are mostly “African and Arab immigrants from the suburbs”.

In 1979 and 1995, Saint-Étienne carried out two studies on the composition of the visitors in their own stadium. The extent to which these have produced statistically reliable results cannot be assessed due to a lack of more detailed information about the methods of the survey, which is why a sociological analysis of the data is not carried out here. In addition, because of the different catchment areas, they cannot simply be transferred to all Ligue 1 stadiums, but they tend to match observations from German top division stadiums.

The "typical visitor" to a Ligue 1 game was then in 1995 compared to 1979 ...

  • younger (increase in the proportion of under 40s from 49 to 80%, which correlates with an increase in schoolchildren and students from 26 to 36% and a decrease in the proportion of pensioners from 6.5 to 5.3% )
  • professionally more often active in the service sector (increase in employees from 20 to 24%, decrease in workers from 21 to 13% - which also reflects the economic structural change in the old industrial city)
  • more female (in 1995 every sixth visitor was a female visitor; in 1979 this was not shown separately, but in Central Europe there is a general trend towards more women in the football stadiums)

Local derbies

Real local derbies , i.e. the meeting of at least two teams from the same city, were relatively rare in French professional football. These existed until the 1960s, especially in Paris , when Racing, Stade Français, Club Français, Cercle Athlétique and the Red Star, which was already located just outside the city limits, were represented in the first or second class. In the mid-2010s, Corsican Ajaccio (Athletic Club and Gazélec FCO, derbies for points so far only in Ligue 2) was added. Professional clubs from Lille and Lens , Montpellier , Sète and Nîmes as well as Nice and Monaco are located quite close to each other, but in different cities ; Saint-Étienne and Lyon , on the other hand, are already more than 60 kilometers apart, Guingamp and Rennes even 125 kilometers. Nonetheless, the game between AS Saint-Étienne and Olympique Lyon is considered the oldest - it has existed since the early 1950s, and it brings together two teams that have both won numerous national titles - and the most important French derby into the 21st century, far more as the so-called " Classique " between Olympique Marseille and Paris SG.

At the beginning of 2017, France Football dealt with the topic in more detail and has recently come up with a total of nine “true and false” derbies, which the trade journal also postulates on the grass, the bleachers and the verbal exchanges in the area in addition to the geographical proximity who analyzed duels. After that, only four pairings meet the derby criteria in every respect: AS Saint-Étienne against Lyon, Lille OSC against Racing Lens, FC Nantes against Stade Rennes and FC Metz against AS Nancy. At HSC Montpellier against Olympique Nîmes, SC Bastia against AC Ajaccio and OGC Nice against AS Monaco, on the other hand, there is no lack of proximity, but a rivalry that can currently be experienced. The clashes between the traditional West French clubs FC Nantes and Girondins Bordeaux are probably regularly characterized by competition for the priority position near the Atlantic coast, but the stadiums are separated by over 300 kilometers. And duels between the Girondins and Toulouse FC can look back on a tradition since 1937; but there is a lack of both geographical proximity (almost 250 kilometers away) and outstanding rivalry. This pairing, for which advertising strategists  wanted to introduce the “Le Garonnico” brand label - Bordeaux and Toulouse are both on the Garonne - in the 2010s , is why France Football ranks last among the French derbies examined.

For the German football magazine Zeitspiel there are only three French derbies, namely Saint-Étienne against Lyon, Lille against Lens and the clash between Paris and Marseille, which is also characterized as an “artifact” there. In an earlier issue the magazine pointed out that in Brittany, especially in the 21st century, with five professional clubs (Stade Brest, En Avant Guingamp, FC Lorient, FC Nantes and Stade Rennes) there is definitely a basis for permanent regional derby rivalries. However, these clubs have one thing in common, which is deeply rooted in the fans: in all five stadiums, the commitment to Bretonism connects the opposing blocks, as was particularly evident in the cup final between Guingamp and Rennes in 2009 .

Popularity of the clubs

A representative, nationwide survey carried out on behalf of France Football at the beginning of 2007 showed that it was not the Ligue 1 series champions at the time, Olympique Lyon, but a club that was most popular with the residents of France, the latter's last significant title win 14 years ago: 35.9% of football fans and 17.2% of all residents named Olympique Marseille as their local favorite club; Lyon only got 20.3 and 12.5% ​​respectively. All other clubs follow by a long way - in third place for both groups surveyed is Paris Saint-Germain (8.0 and 4.6% respectively) ahead of Bordeaux, Saint-Étienne, Auxerre and Lille. There is also an essential difference between those interested in football and "ordinary people": FC Lorient (in 8th place) only appears in the former, and RC Lens (even in 4th place) among the ten most popular clubs.

Statistics (1932–1939 and 1945–2019)

NOTE: All statistics, tables, etc. will be updated quickly after the last matchday of the 2019/20 season. Until then, please do not make any individual changes ( if you have been relegated ahead of time, increase the number of seasons, number of titles, etc.). Otherwise, this makes unnecessary work when updating.

"Eternal table"

(Points for the entire period according to the 3-point rule; clubs that play in Ligue 1 in the 2019/20 season are highlighted in pink, Ligue 2 clubs in yellow)

rank society Playing
title Vice
Points For the first
01 Olympique Marseille x 69 9 11 3,847 1932/33 2018/19
02 Girondins Bordeaux 66 6th 9 3,804 1945/46 2018/19
03 AS Saint-Etienne 66 10 3 3,743 1938/39 2018/19
04th AS Monaco 60 8th 7th 3,578 1953/54 2018/19
05 Olympique Lyon 59 7th 5 3,416 1951/52 2018/19
06th Lille OSC y 66 4th 7th 3,405 1932/33 2018/19
07th FC Sochaux 66 2 3 3,209 1932/33 2013/14
08th OGC Nice 60 4th 3 2,992 1932/33 2018/19
09 FC Nantes 51 8th 7th 2,977 1963/64 2018/19
10 Rennes stadium 62 - - 2,888 1932/33 2018/19
11 RC Lens 58 1 4th 2,882 1937/38 2014/15
12 Paris Saint-Germain 46 8th 8th 2,877 1971/72 2018/19
13 FC Metz 60 - 1 2,717 1932/33 2017/18
14th RC Strasbourg 58 1 1 2,701 1935/36 2018/19
15th FC Toulouse z 50 - 1 2.406 1946/47 2018/19
16 Stade Reims 34 6th 3 1,901 1945/46 2018/19
17th Olympique Nîmes 37 - 4th 1,812 1951/52 2018/19
18th AJ Auxerre 32 1 - 1,795 1980/81 2011/12
19th Montpellier SO / HSC 37 1 - 1,696 1932/33 2018/19
20th SC Bastia 34 - - 1,601 1968/69 2016/17
21st Racing Paris 30th 1 2 1,504 1932/33 1989/90
22nd Valenciennes US / FC 33 - - 1,464 1935/36 2013/14
23 AS Nancy 30th - - 1,428 1970/71 2016/17
24 SCO Angers 27 - - 1,271 1956/57 2018/19
25th CS Sedan 23 - - 1.102 1955/56 2006/07
26th Le Havre AC 24 - - 1.011 1938/39 2008/09
27 AS Cannes 22nd - 1 932 1932/33 1997/98
28 FC Rouen 19th - - 860 1936/37 1984/85
29 SM Caen 18th - - 784 1988/89 2018/19
30th FC Sète 16 2 - 705 1932/33 1953/54
31 FC Nancy 15th - - 666 1946/47 1962/63
32 Stade Français Paris 15th - - 648 1946/47 1966/67
33 Troyes AS / ES 17th - - 640 1954/55 2017/18
34 Stade Laval 13 - - 616 1976/77 1988/89
35 FC Lorient 13 - - 585 1998/99 2016/17
36 EA Guingamp 12 - - 572 1995/96 2018/19
37 Red Star Paris 16 - - 568 1932/33 1974/75
38 Armorique / Stade Brest 13 - - 567 1979/80 2012/13
39 SC Toulon 12 - - 529 1958/59 1992/93
40 AC Ajaccio 13 - - 522 1967/68 2013/14
41 CO Roubaix-Tourcoing 10 1 - 473 1945/46 1954/55
42 Excelsior AC Roubaix 07th - - 271 1932/33 1938/39
43 SC Fives 07th - 1 268 1932/33 1938/39
44 Le Mans UC / FC 06th - - 264 2003/04 2009/10
45 Olympique Antibes 07th - - 238 1932/33 1938/39
46 FC Mulhouse 06th - - 188 1932/33 1989/90
47 FC Evian Thonon Gaillard 04th - - 171 2011/12 2014/15
48 Olympique Alès 06th - - 170 1932/33 1958/59
Tours AFC / FC 04th - - 170 1980/81 1984/85
50 FCO Dijon 04th - - 155 2011/12 2018/19
51 Grenoble FC 04th - - 141 1960/61 2009/10
52 Limoges FC 03 - - 139 1958/59 1960/61
53 AS Angoulême 03 - - 123 1969/70 1971/72
54 Paris FC 03 - - 122 1972/73 1978/79
55 FC Martigues 03 - - 117 1993/94 1995/96
56 RC Roubaix 03 - - 98 1936/37 1938/39
57 SC Amiens 02 - - 83 2017/18 2018/19
58 SR Colmar 01 - - 43 1948/49 1948/49
Chamois Niort 01 - - 43 1987/88 1987/88
CA Paris 02 - - 43 1932/33 1933/34
61 Lyon OU 01 - - 42 1945/46 1945/46
62 FC Gueugnon 01 - - 38 1995/96 1995/96
63 Gazélec FC Ajaccio 01 - - 37 2015/16 2015/16
64 AS Béziers 01 - - 33 1957/58 1957/58
65 FC Istres 01 - - 32 2004/05 2004/05
66 LB Châteauroux 01 - - 31 1997/98 1997/98
US Boulogne 01 - - 31 2009/10 2009/10
68 Olympique Avignon 01 - - 27 1975/76 1975/76
69 AS Aix 01 - - 26th 1967/68 1967/68
70 AC Arles-Avignon 01 - - 20th 2010/11 2010/11
71 Club Français Paris 01 - - 18th 1932/33 1932/33
72 FC Hyères 01 - - 16 1932/33 1932/33
x without the 75 P. from the season of the title revocation (1992/93)
y including 3 pts for the final of the group winners 1932/33
z This includes two clubs, both of which were called Toulouse FC at times: the first existed from 1937 to 1967 (19 D1 seasons and 965 points), the second from 1970 (31 seasons so far, 1,441 points).

Most successful goal scorers of each season

see outsourced article Ligue 1 / Top Scorers

Club records

  • Title wins: AS Saint-Étienne, 10-time champion
  • Series titles: Olympique Lyon (2002–2008), seven, ahead of AS Saint-Étienne (1967–1970), Olympique Marseille (1989–1992), and Paris Saint-Germain (2013–2016), four each
  • Newcomers who became champions straight away: Girondins Bordeaux (1950), AS Saint-Étienne (1964), AS Monaco (1978)
  • Longest unbeaten: FC Nantes, 32 games (1st – 32nd matchday 1994/95)
  • Longest in their own stadium without defeat FC Nantes, 92 games between May 1976 and April 1981
  • Most wins in one season: Paris Saint-Germain (2015/16) 30 wins, followed by themselves (2013/14) with 27 wins, followed by Stade Reims (1959/60), AS Monaco (1960/61), FC Nantes (1965/66 and 1979/80), 26 each (in the 20-player league); AS Saint-Étienne (1969/70), 25 (in 18-man league)
  • Highest number of home wins: AS Saint-Étienne, won all 19 home games of the season (1974/75)
  • Highest number of away wins: Paris Saint-Germain (2015/16, 15) ahead of AS Saint-Étienne (1969/70), Olympique Marseille (1971/72 and 2008/09), Olympique Lyon (2005/06 and 2006/07) , Paris Saint-Germain (2013/14) and AS Monaco (2014/15), each 12
  • Lowest number of defeats: FC Nantes, 1 (1994/95)
  • Longest in Ligue 1: FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and Olympique Marseille, each with 66 seasons
  • Longest uninterrupted in Ligue 1: FC Nantes (44 seasons, 1963–2007) ahead of Paris Saint-Germain (2016/17 in its 43rd year, since 1974) and FC Metz (35 seasons, 1967–2002)
  • Longest of the current first division clubs without interruption in Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain (since 1974/75)
  • Most goals in a season: 1,344 (1946/47; average 3.5 per game) in a 20-man league or 1,138 (1948/49; average 3.7 per game) in a 18-man league
  • Most accurate attack: RC Paris (118 goals), Stade Reims (109 goals, both in 38 games in 1959/60); Lille OSC (102 goals, 1948/49 in 34 games)
  • Best defense: Paris Saint-Germain, 19 goals conceded (2015/16), ahead of Olympique Marseille, 21 goals conceded (1991/92)
  • Biggest win: FC Sochaux 12-1 against US Valenciennes (1935/36)
  • Most dismissals in one season: SC Bastia (1998/99), Paris Saint-Germain (2002/03) and RC Lens (2003/04), 13 each
  • Most- attended season : 8,186,311 (2005/06)
  • Best average attendance: 22,901 (2000/01)
  • Best-attended game: 77,840 spectators in the duel between Lille and Lyon (2008/09, at the Stade de France )

Player and coach records

  • Most of the titles: Jean-Michel Larqué , Hervé Revelli (both AS Saint-Étienne, 1967-1970 and 1974-1976), Grégory Coupet , Sidney Govou and Juninho (all Olympique Lyon, 2002-2008), 7 championships each
  • Most appearances in Ligue 1: (see also the outsourced list of record players )
    • Goalkeepers: Mickaël Landreau (FC Nantes / Paris SG / OSC Lille / SC Bastia, 1996–2014), 618 games, ahead of Jean-Luc Ettori (AS Monaco, 1975–1994), 602 games, and Dominique Dropsy (Racing Strasbourg / Girondins Bordeaux / US Valenciennes, 1970–1990), 596 games
    • Outfield players: Alain Giresse (Girondins Bordeaux / Olympique Marseille, 1970–1988), 586 games, ahead of Sylvain Kastendeuch (FC Metz / AS Saint-Étienne / Toulouse FC, 1982–2001), 578 games, and Patrick Battiston (Girondins Bordeaux / FC Metz / AS Saint-Étienne / AS Monaco, 1973–1991), 558 games
  • The most successful goal scorers: (see also the outsourced list of record goal scorers )
    • Delio Onnis (Stade Reims / AS Monaco / FC Tours / SC Toulon, 1971–1986), 299 hits, ahead of Bernard Lacombe (Olympique Lyon / AS Saint-Étienne / Girondins Bordeaux, 1969–1987), 255 hits, and Hervé Revelli ( AS Saint-Étienne / OGC Nice, 1964–1978), 216 hits
  • Top scorer of the season: Josip Skoblar (Olympique Marseille), 44 goals, ahead of Salif Keïta (AS Saint-Étienne), 42 goals, both in the 1970/71 season
  • Top scorer with the lowest number of hits: Pauleta (Paris Saint-Germain), 15 goals in the 2006/07 season, ahead of Bernard Zénier (FC Metz, 1986/87) and Mamadou Niang (Olympique Marseille, 2009/10), each 18 goals
  • Most goals in a game:
  • First scorer: Austria's Karl Klima (Olympique Antibes) on September 11, 1932 after eight minutes
  • Youngest player to play: Laurent Paganelli (AS Saint-Étienne), aged 15 years, 10 months and 3 days on August 25, 1978
  • Youngest scorer: Laurent Roussey (AS Saint-Étienne), aged 16 years, 3 months and 26 days on April 21, 1978
  • Most expelled player: Cyril Rool , 20 sent off
  • Largest number of Ligue 1 games as coach: Guy Roux (AJ Auxerre, RC Lens), 895 games (1980-2005 and 2007), ahead of Kader Firoud (Olympique Nîmes, FC Toulouse, SO Montpellier) with 782 games (1955– 1982), Albert Batteux (Stade Reims, AS Saint-Étienne, OGC Nice) with 656 (1950–1979), José Arribas (FC Nantes, Olympique Marseille, Lille OSC) with 654 (1963–1982) and Jean Fernandez (at nine Clubs in the period 1987-2013) with 603 games. Of the instructors employed in L1 in 2016/17, Christian Gourcuff reached the 400 mark in March 2017.

See also


  • Marc Barreaud: Dictionnaire des footballeurs étrangers du championnat professionnel français (1932–1997). L'Harmattan, Paris 1998 ISBN 2-7384-6608-7 - Scientific treatise on the importance of foreigners in French professional football with brief information (clubs, stakes) on each individual player
  • Hubert Beaudet: Le Championnat et ses champions. 70 ans de Football en France. Alan Sutton, Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire 2002 ISBN 2-84253-762-9 - Representation of the D1 seasonally (1932-2002) with peculiarities, anecdotes and statistics
  • Thierry Berthou / Collectif: Dictionnaire historique des clubs de football français. Pages de Foot, Créteil 1999 Volume 1 (A-Mo) ISBN 2-913146-01-5 , Volume 2 (Mu-W) ISBN 2-913146-02-3 - Detailed description of the club history of each (ex) professional and many amateur clubs
  • Stéphane Boisson / Raoul Vian: Il était une fois le Championnat de France de Football. Tous les joueurs de la première division de 1948/49 à 2003/04. Neofoot, Saint-Thibault o. J. (msch.) - Alphabetical listing of all first division players (1948–2004) with all clubs, missions and goals
  • Pierre Delaunay / Jacques de Ryswick / Jean Cornu: 100 ans de football en France. Atlas, Paris 1982, 1983² ISBN 2-7312-0108-8 - standard work on the history of French football (also cup, national team, associations), richly illustrated for the years around 1900
  • Just Fontaine: Reprise de volée. Solar, o. O. 1970 - similar also: ders. (Including Jean-Pierre Bonenfant): Mes 13 vérités sur le foot. Solar, Paris 2006 ISBN 2-263-04107-9 - Viewpoints of a party who was a player, coach and unionist
  • Alex Graham: Football in France. A statistical record 1894-2005. Soccer Books, Cleethorpes 2005 ISBN 1-86223-138-9 - purely statistical work (championships since 1894, cup, second division)
  • Sophie Guillet / François Laforge: Le guide français et international du football éd. 2007. Vecchi, Paris 2006 ISBN 2-7328-6842-6 - Over 600 pages of statistics, tables, results and texts (published annually)
  • Raymond Kopa (with Patrice Burchkalter): Kopa. Jacob-Duvernet, Paris 2006 ISBN 2-84724-107-8 - Clear, opinionated autobiography
  • Nathalie Milion: Piantoni - Roger-la-Classe. La Nuée Bleue / Éd. de l'Est, Nancy 2003 ISBN 2-7165-0602-7 - Atmospherically dense, not only footballing biography of a local journalist about Roger Piantoni
  • Jean-Philippe Rethacker / Jacques Thibert: La fabuleuse histoire du football. Minerva, Genève 1996, 2003 2 ISBN 978-2-8307-0661-1 - The voluminous, detailed history of French football, updated several times since it was first published in 1974
  • Alfred Wahl / Pierre Lanfranchi: Les footballeurs professionnels des années trente à nos jours. Hachette, Paris 1995 ISBN 978-2-01-235098-4 - Scientific presentation of the economic, social and organizational development of professionalism in France


  1. There were tentative beginnings of a professional gaming business as early as 1900 (for example the Union des Sports de France held a championship for professional players from 1897 to 1899), albeit with only a few clubs and for a short time; the split of the Ligue de Football Association from the Union des Sociétés Françaises des Sports Athlétiques (1910) was also based largely on differences of opinion on the question of the payment of players. However, this topic has not yet been systematically dealt with.
  2. Wahl / Lanfranchi, pp. 20 and 34/35
  3. Wahl / Lanfranchi, p. 154ff.
  4. 1930/31 in two groups of four (with home and away games ) followed by the final of the group winners, 1931/32 in four groups of five (again each against each other) with subsequent semi-finals and finals in knockout mode .
  5. ^ Joseph Pascot (1897–1974), national rugby player and French champion with USA Perpignan (1921, 1925); from 1940 to 1942 sports director in the government collaborating with Nazi Germany under Marshal Pétain , then until July 1944 in the successor to Jean Borotra as general commissioner for education and sports de facto minister; In 1945 sentenced to five years for the deprivation of civil rights, this sentence was suspended shortly afterwards.
  6. ^ Study by the Observatoire des footballeurs professionnels at the Universities of Neuchâtel and Besançon , printed in France Football of February 26, 2008, pp. 22-27
  7. France Football, October 20, 2009, pp. 30-33
  8. ^ France Football, March 10, 2009, pp. 22-26
  9. Guillet / Laforge (éd. 2007), p. 159
  10. ↑ On an experimental basis, the goal difference regulation was introduced in the 1962/63 season , and then permanently from 1964/65 .
  11. France Football, February 11, 2014, p. 30.
  12. France Football, February 11, 2014, p. 32.
  13. ^ France Football, January 16, 2007.
  14. France Football of February 11, 2014, p. 18
  15. For Rennes see France Football of July 10, 2012, for the current ranking for 2012 the association website ( Memento of July 13, 2012 in the Internet Archive ).
  16. France Football, December 12, 2006, pp. 22-24
  17. As of August 31, 2007; according to France Football of October 16, 2007, pp. 22-25
  18. ^ Study by the Observatoire des footballeurs professionnels , printed in France Football of October 14, 2008, pp. 26-29
  19. Didier Braun: L'équipe de France de football, c'est l'histoire en raccourci d'un siècle d'immigration. in Hommes & Migrations, No. 1226 (July / August 2000), here ( memento of the original from January 13, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. available as PDF. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  20. See the list of all Brazilians in Ligue 1 since 1945 , published by France Football in February 2011.
  21. France Football, September 10, 2013, p. 32
  22. France Football of April 25, 2017, p. 8
  23. Status: at the beginning of the 2010/11 season; according to France Football of October 19, 2010, pp. 36-38
  25. Le Top de la Legion étrangère. In: France Football. from August 28, 2012, pp. 4-13
  26. Women as presidents of a professional club are very rare: the first was in 1987 the mayor of Cannes , Anne-Marie Dupuy , at the AS there .
  27. ↑ Compiled from France Football Spécial: Guide de la Saison 2010-11 and Supplément
  28. Article Guingamp, premier club français avec des socios? In: France Football. of March 7, 2017, p. 6
  29. France Football of January 23, 2007; In March 2007, Louis-Dreyfus surprisingly declared the negotiations to be over because Kachkar had failed to meet several promises (France Football of March 27, 2007).
  30. France Football of July 22, 2014, p. 27
  31. France Football of April 16, 2013, p. 20
  32. France Football of January 9th and 30th and August 21, 2007
  33. a b c France Football, August 1, 2006
  34. France Football of October 23, 2007, pp. 26/27
  35. France Football, May 20, 2008, p. 55
  36. Wahl / Lanfranchi, p. 69
  37. France Football of July 10, 2007, pp. 20/21
  38. France Football of April 17, 2012, p. 31
  39. France Football, March 8, 2011, p. 20
  40. France Football of June 28, 2016, p. 12
  41. France Football of June 21, 2011, p. 16
  42. A list of the D1 referees can be found here ( memento from June 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). With Corinne Lagrange and Christelle Laboureyras, two women were on the sidelines in league games in 2007/08.
  43. ^ France Football, March 8, 2011, pp. 18-21
  44. ^ France Football, September 26, 2006
  45. France Football, August 6, 2013, p. 21
  46. France Football of May 31, 2011, p. 32, and May 28, 2013, p. 53
  47. according to this table on the page of the league association
  48. France Football of June 17, 2015, p. 10
  49. Football 58. L'Équipe, Paris 1957, p. 5
  50. ^ Alfred Wahl: Les archives du football. Sport et société en France (1880-1980). Gallimard, Paris 1989, p. 332
  51. ^ Announcement from the LFP at France Football (accessed on June 24, 2011) and France Football of June 28, 2011, pp. 26/27
  52. see the message of June 27, 2012 at and for the period 2016-2020 the message in France Football of July 22, 2015, p. 10
  53. Detailed breakdown for 2012/13 in France Football of June 11, 2013, p. 32; For the contract from 2008 and older figures, see France Football from February 12 and 19 and from March 4 and 11, 2008.
  54. after France Football of November 30, 2010, p. 56/57, and of March 29, 2011, p. 16f.
  55. ^ France Football, July 18, 2006
  56. ^ France Football, August 8, 2006
  57. Conforama signs € 10m title sponsorship with France's Ligue 1 ,, accessed December 31, 2018
  58. Great agreement between Ligue 1 and Uber Eats on June 12, 2019 at
  59. Lucas Orellano: Ligue 1: Uber Eats is the new title sponsor instead of Conforama. Retrieved June 16, 2020 .
  60. France Football of February 26, 2013, p. 27
  61. All information in this section: France Football of April 29, 2015, p. 12; they are based on the findings of the league association LFP.
  62. Guillet / Laforge (éd. 2007), p. 140.
  63. Rethacker / Thibert, p. 240 f.
  64. ^ France Football, March 23, 2010, pp. 4-13.
  65. France Football, March 19, 2013, pp. 4-18
  66. France Football, March 25, 2015, pp. 36–45.
  67. All figures rounded, from France Football of March 31, 2009, pp. 4-17 (collected by the Observatoire UFF sport conseil des revenus et de l'épargne des sportifs professionnels ), of March 20, 2012, p. 14 (based on a Research by Élite Patrimoine ), March 19, 2013, p. 18, and June 17, 2015, p. 18.
  68. France Football of May 2, 2007, p. 22.
  69. France Football of May 20, 2008, p. 49.
  70. France Football of December 1, 2009, p. 53.
  71. .
  72. France Football of March 31, 2009, p. 27.
  73. ^ Alain Pécheral: La grande histoire de l'OM. Des origines à nos jours. Ed. Prolongations, o. O. 2007 ISBN 978-2-916400-07-5 , p. 362.
  74. ^ France Football online: "16 people arrested" ( Memento of October 27, 2009 in the Internet Archive ); the cancellation was due to suspicion of swine flu among some PSG players (see France Football online on the date of the rescheduling ( memento of October 27, 2009 in the Internet Archive )).
  75. ^ France Football, March 23, 2010, pp. 32-35.
  76. Summary of the test results from here (French).
  77. Article Vrais et faux Derbys. In: France Football. from January 31, 2017, p. 26.
  78. Article Vrais et faux Derbys. In: France Football. from January 31, 2017, pp. 26/27.
  79. Zeitspiel - magazine for football history, focus on “Derbies and rivalries”, Issue 6, 2016, p. 64.
  80. Zeitspiel - magazine for football history, focus on “Derbies and rivalries”, Issue 4, 2016, pp. 53–56.
  81. ^ France Football, March 6, 2007
  82. According to the majority of French-language literature, this is said to have been Karl's brother Johann ; however, see z. B. (there under September 11, 2002, 1st and 2nd paragraph).
  83. Table of the ten coaches with the most top division games - Jean Snella is in tenth place with 567 point games between 1950 and 1980 - in France Football from March 28, 2017, p. 38

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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on August 27, 2006 in this version .