Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has urged Ligue 1 authorities to reconsider their decision to end the French season early, saying he is still hopeful that they may yet turn away from the ‘wrong path’.
On April 30 the LFP (Ligue de Football Professionnel) confirmed that the 2019-20 campaign would not resume when French football returns following the coronavirus pandemic, crowning Paris Saint-Germain as champions.
Amiens and Toulouse, who occupied 19th and 20th place, respectively, at the time of the top flight’s suspension, were in turn relegated to Ligue 2, while 18th-placed Nimes were given a reprieve and will not face a playoff once the sport is up and running again.
Marseille and Rennes, meanwhile, join PSG as France’s 2020-21 Champions League contingent while Lyon face a year out of European football after finishing the term in seventh place.
The club responded to the LFP’s resolution by threatening legal action, but Aulas believes the decision could and should be changed.
‘We are on the wrong path, it may not be too late to try to imagine, in the light of what is happening everywhere in Europe, something that is politically coherent: we had until late August and maybe even early September to finish,’ the Lyon chief explained to L’Equipe.
‘Until I receive the transcript of the minutes from the board of directors which decided to stop … I haven’t had it since April 30, and it’s strange.’
To date, France is the only country in Europe’s ‘big five’ that has opted for an early finish to the 2019-20 season.
On Wednesday, Germany announced its intention to resume the Bundesliga in mid-May, while in Spain LaLiga authorities are hopeful of resuming activities in June.
Aulas pointed to events in Germany as proof that scrapping the season with just over 10 rounds of fixtures left to play is out of step with the rest of the continent.
‘Things are becoming clearer. I noted almost 10 European countries where training has started again. So, we can really wonder. By adapting our methods, we could probably have finished the Championship,’ he added.
‘As long as there is life, there is hope. For all the people who are reasonable and who had the main argument, to tell us to stop, that all the other championships were going to stop, a very important milestone has been reached today.’
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