French football clubs are making plans to resume playing and finish the current season by late July despite President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement on Monday night that the country’s coronavirus lockdown would continue until May 11.
IN a television address four weeks after the strict lockdown began, Macron said the measures would be extended by another four weeks as France battles to contain the pandemic which has killed more than 15,700 people in the country.
However, he added the restrictions could be eased from then if current positive trends continued, providing a glimmer of hope to the country’s clubs who have been out of action since March 13.
The suspension of the season means clubs in France are facing a financial crisis as revenue streams have been switched off, with broadcasters refusing to pay the latest instalments of TV contracts to show live matches.
Even all-powerful Paris Saint-Germain, with their stratospheric wage bill, are impacted, and getting games back on is therefore crucial, although there seems little prospect of fans being allowed into stadiums any time soon with Macron ruling out any large gatherings before mid-July.
Teams will not be able to train before the lockdown ends anyway, but the best-case scenario would see matches resuming in June behind closed doors.