The last fifteen minutes of the shock between Monaco and Lyon (2-3) on Sunday evening sums up the electric atmosphere that reigns at the end of the Championship.
Players transcended, a reversal of the situation with the determining impact on the classification… But unfortunately also, images of a deplorable altercation which led to two red cards on each side.
The day before, it was Leonardo, sports director of PSG, then Christophe Galtier and Olivier Létang, respectively coach and president of Losc, who had attacked the referee sharply, guilty according to them of not sufficiently protecting their jewels, in this case Neymar and Bamba.
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There is no doubt that these slippages are linked to the total indecision of the end of Ligue 1, and which may last for another three days.
Bruno Derrien, former international referee, however calls on everyone "to regain their calm".
“I have known that… Behaviors are tense, the players are more anxious.
This is the lot of a lot of tense ends of the season like this one.
And there is always a tolerable part of the poison on the lawn.
But these pressure surges are useless.
We can chat quietly after the game.
But raw, it's useless.
The referees know how to manage all this pressure and the DTA
(Editor's note: technical direction of refereeing)
will appoint qualified and experienced referees for important matches.
"The fear of losing everything"
The problem is that important games, there will be almost on all the lawns until May 23. Those of PSG and Lille for the title, of Monaco and Lyon to win a ticket in the Champions League, of Lens, Marseille and Rennes for the Europa League… And so on until the fight for maintenance which still concerns the at least five teams (Nîmes, Nantes, Lorient, Strasbourg, Bordeaux).
"Some players lack experience in these matches where you play your future, so they can pull the pin," said Lionel Charbonnier, 1998 world champion and RMC Sport consultant on L1. The importance of the ranking and the bonuses that come with it can influence behavior and this creates more tension. We must also add the fatigue accumulated throughout this season, so some players can lose their nerves a bit. It's a shame, because the pictures are not beautiful. I don't apologize for them, but I understand them. "
At the end of the week, only the meeting between Angers (13th) and Dijon (20th and relegated) will not include any sporting issue during the 36th day.
The remaining nine games will affect the fight for European places or maintenance.
“On the side of Lyon, there is additional pressure, because they did not qualify for the Champions League this season, adds Lionel Charbonnier.
The same goes for PSG, which used to be champion ten days before the end.
There is the fear of losing everything and also the worry of having new players injured while the Parisians are still racing in the three competitions (L1, C1 and Coupe de France).
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Important economic issues
According to Vincent Chaudel, sports economist, we must also keep in mind the underlying economic issues due to the disasters caused by Covid-19 and the bankruptcy of Mediapro. Without overestimating them either. "For maintenance, it is obviously a tragedy to go down to Ligue 2. For a club like Nantes, that would represent a budget cut of 15 to 20 million euros, or a budget cut in two, he recalls . Knowing that it is forbidden to reduce the payroll of its players by more than 20% in the event of relegation, you necessarily have a big problem. According to a report from the DNCG, financial policeman of Ligue 1, Metz and Troyes had for example lost 33% and 43% of their income respectively once they fell back to L2 in 2018-2019.
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The financial importance is however not the same for PSG and Lille, tempers the co-founder of the Observatory of sport business.
“For the Losc, now that they have been sure since Sunday evening to play in the Champions League, this title represents above all a question of prestige and achievements.
On the other hand, it is for Monaco and Lyon that the consequences are enormous, he insists.
In short, if you participate in the Europa League and, by some miracle, you go to the end, you will pocket around 30 million euros.
By way of comparison, this is the amount that a club that only plays in the group stages of the Champions League will automatically receive, regardless of its results.
If the allocations distributed by UEFA prove to be decisive for the budget of the big teams, this is less the case for the bonuses offered by the LFP according to the classification. Still according to the same DNCG document, less than 5 million euros separated in 2017-2018 the amounts offered to the 1st (19.4 million euros) and the 3rd of Ligue 1 (14.7 million euros ).