The president of the Amiens Sporting Club Bernard Joannin is a beating. The French football Federation has approved, last week, limiting to 20 teams of the Ligue 1 and the idea of a League 1 to 22, claimed by Amiens and Toulouse, appears to be ruled out. If Amiens has to go down in League 2, Bernard Joannin, which is the only club president to have voted against the judgment of the championship to the board of directors of the professional football League of 30 April, do not give up. He will file in the beginning of the week, a new appeal to the Council of State. According to him, the professional football sector, lack of humanism.
The Point : How do you feel about the way the world of professional football has reacted to the health crisis ?
Bernard Joannin : This pandemic has been a public health disaster, economic and even psychological. But the French have reacted admirably. The government showed proof of its solidarity, particularly by helping 11 million unemployed partial. On the other hand, the professional football, to him, felt above the fray. It has been a total disregard by the rest of France. The club of Amiens is not the only one. Many other teams have been injured. I find it hard to understand that football has not wanted to grow out of this event by showing humanism and solidarity. It would have been not to speak of descent for all of the clubs, that is to say, not to add to the misfortune the misfortune. You know, I'm not in the sport for the money. There is an effort citizens from several contractors to make the team of our city, Amiens, a superb standard of the region.
What to reproach you exactly the professional football League (LFP) and other presidents of clubs ?
I'm not a person of cleaving, and is always looking for the dialogue. This is probably why I have been elected to the board of directors of the LFP. But then, I found myself in front of peers, presidents of clubs, driven solely by private interests. Out of the 20 teams of Ligue 1, 18 wish, Amiens, and Toulouse go down. None has an interest in having two competitors more and accepting a League to 22. Unless the evidence of humanism and solidarity. But these feelings seem foreign.
This has seen the exit of the Council of State. The judge has suspended relegation for Toulouse and Amiens, and has asked the League to study a new format of the championship. However, the director general Didier Quillot has never ceased to say in the media that this was totally impossible. And the League has mounted a folder, not of reflection, but to charge. It is for this reason that we will as soon as early this week to file a new appeal to the Council of State. The record of the LFP is to support and devoid of foundations, with a lot of elements totally false. We will prove it.
Read also Didier Quillot : "In this crisis, it is the virus that command"
What is the impact to the Amiens stop of the season and relegation in League 2 ?
This is shown very precisely in the written submission by the firm of KPMG and submitted to the Council of State. We lose 40 million euros in revenue if this descent into League 2 is definitely confirmed. Regarding the sponsorship, Intersport, which is a co-operative deeply affected by the pandemic, a decision was taken at national level to withdraw, this I can understand. But personally, as I have multiple stores Intersport, I decided to substitute me for the co-op and be a sponsor shirt of the club.
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The League has shown a lack of foresight and lack of courage.
Should we reform the governance of professional football in France ?
We could create a commercial company, why not ? However, it is mainly the men and women who make the difference. Take Spain, the president of the Liga Javier Tebas is a true fighter with an extraordinary aura. In France, we need stronger governance. Because the French football has not been strong enough at the time where the Prime minister, on 28 April, said that he hoped that the season of professional football does not regain. The League has shown a lack of foresight and lack of courage. We would have been able to say : "The Prime minister asks us to stop, we suspend sine die the championship. And if the pandemic turns out to be much stronger than it is currently, we will stop the championship. "
If the governance of French had been at the height, there would have been a better dialogue with the government. We would have been able to implement tests of Covid-19, and resume the exercises in very strict conditions. It would have happened as in Spain, Italy, England and Germany. These four great nations of football, they were able to wait, suspend their championship and take it back. This has an economic impact very positive for their football.
However, the League argued in an intense dialogue with the government...
At a time, talk is of no use. The fact is there. The other countries have resumed. Not France.