Marseille have confirmed that they will take the French fotball federation (FFF) and French soccer league (LFP) to court to obtain a bigger share of television broadcasting rights.
Marseill are claiming €38 million from French soccer’s governing bodies because they claim they have not been given the amount promised to them in an agreement last year.
The club’s general manager Christophe Bouchet is unhappy that Marseille are not receiving any financial compensation despite the fact that most of their league matches are being screened live. Marseille are one of, if not the biggest draw in French football, but the decision to screen so many of their games, has led to a significant loss in ticket sales.
“We are complaining against the broadcasting of our matches without any prior request,” Bouchet said. “They (the Federation) set the dates of our matches unilaterally.’
“The decisions (to broadcast matches) are taken without any dialogue,” Bouchet added.
“We don’t know how these decisions are taken and how the timetable is set. It’sthe reason why we are now going to court.”
“There is a blatant abuse of the dominant position of the LFP. Marseille are now ina position of submission to the League,” Bouchet said.
Bouchet argues that the televised money should be split in the same way it is in England, with the clubs receiving monney for each live appearance.
“The share should go like this,”he said.
“Fifty percent of the TV rights should be shared between all the clubs, 25 percent should be allowed according to theposition of the club in the standings and the rest should take into account the broadcasting of the games,” he said.
At present, 83 percent of French television rights money is shared between the 20 first division clubs, 10 per cent is based on a club’s position in the table, with only seven percent distributed to the clubs being broadcast .
“A share based on the English set-up is fair. It will not be enough for French clubs to regain their position in the European cups but at least it’s fair,” Bouchet added.
“France is now like a Gallic isolated village and the clubs are unable to perform well in European events,” he said.