Paris (AFP)

The end of a showdown: The Professional Football League (LFP) and its broadcasters Canal + and beIN Sports announced on Friday an agreement for the payment of TV rights for the L1 and L2 matches already played, which they refused to pay until then.

"It's very good. I was sure we would find it," rejoiced with AFP Bernard Caiazzo, the president of the union of L1 (Premier League) clubs.

For clubs, it is a relief: several million euros will be paid to them, in a tense economic context due to the epidemic of the new coronavirus which has put an end to competitions and therefore, turned off the tap recipes.

"Canal + has every interest that French football is doing well, and beIN too," continues the manager of Saint-Etienne. This agreement demonstrates that good things can happen when everyone pulls in the right direction. "

Four club presidents chosen by the LFP Bureau, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi (Paris-SG), Olivier Sadran (Toulouse), Jacques-Henri Eyraud (Marseille) and Jean-Pierre Rivère (Nice), led the discussions with the two chains which had suspended their payments at the end of March.

The encrypted channel had refused to pay some 110 M EUR - part of which (43M EUR) was due because it corresponds to matches already played, according to several leaders -, and beIN Sports of which Al-Khelaïfi is also the boss, 42 M EUR .

- "preserving the spectacle and health" -

If no amount was revealed on Friday, the LFP confirms that the agreement with Canal + relates "to the amount of the regulations relating to the matches of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 Championships already broadcast" in its press release.

According to L'Equipe, this corresponds to 37 million euros.

"Thank you to the four presidents for the quality of the dialogue. Our discussions continue on the recovery, with the ambition to preserve the spectacle and the health of all", reacted on Twitter Maxime Saada, the boss of the Canal + group.

Its tone contrasts with that adopted in early April. "We strictly apply the contract and we do not see why we would do otherwise: Canal + is not a bank", explained to AFP the management of the chain.

This change could initiate the return to less cloudy skies for French football, shaken by divisions during this crisis, and weakened financially.

TV rights, which represent nearly 36% of L1 club revenues for the 2018-2019 season, are by far their biggest source of income, according to the report of the DNCG, the financial gendarme of French football.

On Friday, the LFP office also continued its work with a view to resuming training on May 11, provided for in the health protocol. If the government gives the green light, the Championship could resume in mid-June. To get closer to a return to normal.

© 2020 AFP