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LEAKED: Lyon President Aulas’s letter to PSG President Al Khelaifi about FFP

L’Équipe got a hold of Jean-Michel Aulas’ letter sent to Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. What the PSG owners thought would be a letter of apology seemed more like a clarification on the Lyon president’s opinion in regard to the Parisian club.

Dear Nasser,

As briefly mentioned on Thursday evening, I wanted to address this letter to clarify my opinion and your general perception.

First and foremost, I would like to make it clear that I admire you both as a human and as PSG President, who, admittedly with greater means than others, has managed excellent sporting, organisational and managerial feats, which are well recognised by the supporters of French football.

The point I would like to bring up is in regards to the size of the means injected to make you not only a top club on the European stage, but, in fact, the number one French club.

We compete in a league with 20 teams, where only the top two, and incidentally the third place, despite the fact that it is more complicated than before, will have access to the very important resources made available by UEFA.

Without these resources, clubs like Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Marseille, Rennes, Nice, Lille or Toulouse, will see themselves denied of their fair share, which represents a greater sum than that given by the Ligue 1 to the best of its clubs.

Certain of these clubs, like Olympique Lyonnais, have invested hundreds of millions of euros into the construction of stadiums and training facilities, and the return on these investments can only be an option with the guarantee of being able to compete in European competitions, in view of the resources allocated.

This analysis, which I have done with a certain number of presidents who have their clubs competing in the Champions league, takes into consideration the total value of investments made by PSG, but also takes account of their relative value, considering that the average budget of a Ligue 1 team, apart from PSG, is around 60 to 70 million Euros!

The size of the means injected has only risen during these last few years, and today, there is no chance for second-standing clubs to be able to compete with PSG on a sporting level.

Conversely, I obviously admire the arrival of Neymar and all the other great talents that you have been able to attract to PSG, as well as being able to keep Kylian Mbappé in France, which will boost the stadium attendances, and also showcase the Ligue 1 on a global scale.

Also, considering the organisational and capital ownership with beIN, I could gladly imagine that a part of considerable power of the state of Qatar would help with the increase in the French TV deal, in order to show “solidarity” towards the other French clubs. Especially, considering that clubs in France tend to be penalised by PSG’s unquestionable dominance.

Similarly, we would also imagine, even though this may come across as a sort of far-fetched dream, that a part of the big Qatari sponsors would be able to help the French clubs on their quest for the growth of revenues, similarly to Doha airport’s international sponsorship with FC Bayern. This represents the only likely manner to balance or regulate the French league.

I am addressing this message to you not as a way to justify my previous statements, because I know that they bother you, even if they are only the result of systematic questions asked by the media, and to which I can not conceal my responses stating my opinion on a French and European jurisdiction, and as the major shareholder for a club competing in the league.

Finally, know that despite the excessive media coverage on my statements, I maintain great respect towards you as a man, and that I admire that PSG can, at some point or another, win the Champions League, as well as earn points for the UEFA coefficient, which would allow for France to catch up to that fourth spot, meaning that more of our clubs would be qualified.

There you go, I had to say all this, because my approach is not a negative one, quite the contrary. It would serve the interests of all clubs participating in a competition with economic rules which are synonymous with continuity. 

I remain available should you want to discuss this, and in any case, I am here to defend the best interest of French clubs, including PSG, within UEFA and the ECA, as I have done in the past.

All the best,

Jean-Michel.

 

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