Just what is the novel coronavirus
pandemic costing major clubs in Europe?
Bernard Caiazzo, president of French club St. Etienne and the association representing Ligue 1 clubs, said in an interview with France Bleu Loire radio that clubs in the big five European leagues have already lost €4 billion ($4.3 billion) and French clubs have lost €500-600 million ($536 million-$643 million).
That's why he said it's essential that Ligue 1 finishes its 2019-20 season -- even if it goes into late summer -- to recoup some of the losses. At stake with TV partners alone is €170 million ($181.7 million).
Caiazzo said that without state aid within six months half of the French pro clubs will file for bankruptcy. He said Ligue 1 won't be able to play until June 15 at the earliest even if the pandemic abates.
"It is necessary to finish the championship at all costs," he said, "even if it means ending it in July-August and resuming in stride."
Among the issues that have to be addressed are extending player contracts, set to expire June 30, through the summer until the 2019-20 season concludes, and how long if any to give the players off before the 2021-22 season starts.
Caiazzo said Ligue 1 clubs also face the possibility of suffering huge losses because of the collapse of the international transfer. Ligue 1 clubs have some of the best youth systems in Europe and depend on selling young players to balance their books