Vincent Labrune on the defensive in entrance of the senators | EUROtoday

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Vincent Labrune, president of the Professional Football League, before a Senate committee, June 26, 2024.

“I don’t believe in the disaster hypothesis. » Before the Senate information mission on investment funds in French professional football, Vincent Labrune painfully tried, Wednesday June 26, for almost three hours, to convince his audience that French clubs will not emerge bloodless from the soap opera extending the sale of Ligue 1 television rights for the 2024-2029 cycle.

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Blue jacket and thin glasses, the president of the Professional Football League (LFP) was interviewed by the fact-finding mission at a pivotal moment. Due to the lack of a distribution agreement between the BeIN Sports and Canal + channels, the LFP has still not found a broadcaster for the next season of the French championship. While the television rights contract (2021-2024) expires on June 30, the League is urgently working on an adventurous “plan B”, which might consist of making and advertising and marketing its shut channel with all League matches. 1.

“We did not succeed [à trouver un diffuseur], I take my share of it. There is a path which will undoubtedly be less beneficial for the clubs if we cannot find an agreement with Canal +conceded Mr. Labrune. But there is a path which is quite simply to make a theoretical constraint an opportunity (…), trying to create our own media. »

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Under heavy fire from the mission rapporteur, Michel Savin (Isère, Les Républicains), Mr Labrune admitted that he was not the “master of clocks” on this file, highlighting the “feeling of betrayal” skilled by Canal +, owned by Vincent Bolloré, because the monetary failure of Mediapro and the acquisition of Ligue 1 tv rights, in 2021, by Amazon.

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A “win-win model”

With his again to the wall, Mr. Labrune was primarily questioned in regards to the creation, in 2022, by the LFP, of a business firm, LFP Media, beneath an settlement with the Luxembourg funding fund CVC Capital Partners. The stated settlement gives for the sale of 13% of the capital of LFP Media for 1.5 billion euros and the cost, in alternate, to CVC of 13% of the revenue of the business firm.

Mr. Labrune acknowledged that the query of ” duration “ of this “exceptional agreement with CVC” by no means got here up throughout negotiations with the fund. Before a skeptical viewers, he praised a “win-win model”, Who “protects clubs enormously in the event of a reduction in television rights”.

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Far from sharing his enthusiasm, the senators highlighted the ” gap ” between the ” business plan “, the optimistic business forecasts of the LFP in 2022 and “the financial situation and the concern of many clubs”, very unhappy “to draw up their budget without knowing the amount of fees” domestics.

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