With the withdrawal of Mediapro, Canal + “in hand” to take over the TV rights of French football, but must not “abuse” according to the president of Reims and the college of Ligue 1.
Despite the judicial validation of the withdrawal of Mediapro, are the clubs still in a hurry?
Jean-Pierre Caillot: The urgency is still there, obviously. But we were in a potentially very complicated legal system and we managed to achieve a difficult mediation. Today, we will be able to officially and openly declare that TV rights are on the market, which will allow us to engage in discussions with broadcasters, and finally to have a global vision of the state of our losses.
Do you hope to limit the future discount for the future contract?
In 2018 (at the time of the call for tenders), the value of Ligue 1 was at one billion euros annually. We rose to 1.2 billion thanks or because of Mediapro (1.153 billion per year precisely for the L1, Editor’s note). Today, the context is complicated, but I can not imagine that we can go below 800 million euros tomorrow. There is no objective: in a negotiation, the truth is the check. I hope for all the clubs that we will quickly find a solution with a historic broadcaster where the product is not depreciated. We must make a clean sweep of the past. Mistakes were probably made, there was a broadcaster who maybe smoked everyone up. Now we’re going to put the ball back in the middle. It would be a mistake to sell off our rights to Canal + under cover of the emergency, and on the other hand it would not be a good thing for Canal + to take them too low because that would mean that the product has not the value at which they want to sell it to their subscribers. Maybe Canal + will give the price that we consider reasonable, maybe it will not give it and that we will have to go through other schemes to arrive at an acceptable sum for Ligue 1, which remains a quality championship.
While Canal + seems to be procrastinating, should things speed up?
If I were a negotiator, I would say to myself: “Why wait until January 31, why not find a solution by January 15 when everyone comes out to the top!” I hope we will not wait until the last hours as in the mercatos. We, the clubs, are ready. If we have to wait until January 31, if we have to black screen (matches without a broadcaster, Editor’s note), we will. It really does not make you dream, but if we must arrive at this hypothesis rather than sell off a real market value, why not get there or start a plan B with a new call for tenders, new entrants … Mediapro n t is not the best example of a new entrant, but there are others that may disrupt the machinery tomorrow. I appeal to the reason of the people of Canal +. They are in a legitimate situation, they have the hand, but in their place I would not abuse it.
Will the winter transfer window be placed under the sign of sale and uncertainty?
Each club has its economy. If you have a billionaire behind you, that’s not going to change much. Otherwise, solutions will have to be found. Normal people, they watch how much they’re going to miss him and they know they’re going to have a 15 or 20 million hole at the end of the year, so if they have the opportunity to sell a player at that price, can -be they are going to watch it. It is the role of the business owner to always be a little uncertain. This one is nevertheless particularly unforeseen: obviously, when you expect a broadcaster over four years and it is lacking, it is a big questioning of the + business plan + for the years to come.