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 Post subject: Ligue Un Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:16 pm 
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I dunno if it exists (couldn't find it) but a general Ligue Un thread? If not help memerge it :p

Quote:
Lille's light burning brighter
July 17, 2012
By Paul Marshall
(Archive)

Lille began their pre-season round of friendlies with a win in Le Havre last Thursday. It was supposed to be Rangers playing on the Normandy coast to inaugurate the new Stade Oceane, which has been christened 'a mini Allianz Arena' by the French press. The Glasgow club's fall from grace from the days when they used to compete with European heavyweights like Bayern Munich has been steep; Lille are a team heading in the opposite direction.


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Rudi Garcia has been in charge of Lille since 2008

The new Ligue 1 season is almost upon the northerners, who will once again be among the favourites to finish in the top three. A repeat of their double of 2009-10 is unlikely with Paris Saint-Germain's Qatar-fuelled finances making the playing field anything but level, but Rudi Garcia's squad - third last season - remains one of the French top-flight's brightest. "Lyon have had an identity for several years now. That's an important aspect," PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said recently when asked to size up his club's title rivals. "Lille too will be in the hunt."

The Italian should know, having seen his team pushed for second place - and automatic qualification for the Champions League - last season by Garcia's men, assembled for significantly less than Ancelotti's blue-chip charges. Lille's stock has continued to rise despite their prize assets being plundered regularly. Some €138m-worth of talent has been sold in recent seasons, not the least of which is Chelsea's latest purchase, Eden Hazard. The northerners have used their funds sensibly, however, and their buys are evidence of their rise to a position of prominence in Ligue 1.

Dimitri Payet was wooed from Saint-Etienne for some €10 million last summer; fellow France international and creative midfielder Marvin Martin has followed suit from Sochaux this for €12 million. Not astronomical sums, perhaps, but - PSG aside - sizeable for Ligue 1. "Since we won the title, and perhaps even before that, the club has changed category," club president Michel Seydoux said. His team should be playing in their spanking brand new stadium come the first home game of the season, embellishing an infrastructure that already includes a state-of-the-art training ground. "It's great to have the Grand Stade, but you also need a good team. Since I've been at the helm of this club, there's a word that I keep repeating: attractiveness."

The fact that Joe Cole last season and Champions League winner Salomon Kalou this found Lille a pleasing-enough destination to leave the English Premier League speaks volumes for how the club are making Seydoux's vision a reality. Though the idea of the arrival Jose Bosingwa and Ibrahim Afellay might not set the pulses of the average Premier League fan racing, Lille supporters certainly would be excited at the prospect. The pair are not the sort of calibre of player that has habitually been associated with their club, but this summer they have.

As the signings of Payet and Martin show, Lille have not neglected to prospect closer to home, and they are now seen as a more than viable option for players to make the next step within France. Like Lyon, who perhaps not coincidentally count Seydoux's brother Jerome on their board, in the opening decade of the millennium, Lille have soaked up the best Ligue 1 has to offer in recent seasons before shipping them on for big profits. With PSG seemingly headed down a more exotic and expensive transfer route, only Marseille and perhaps Montpellier are in a position to rival Lille as the destination of choice for the best homegrown talent. It is a phenomenon that even seems to extend to the backroom staff, with the team doctor now also to take charge of the French national side.

That is something Garcia, albeit tentatively, had been mooted to do following Laurent Blanc's departure. Certainly, his appointment would have prompted a number of "Rudi who?" questions outside France, but the uncompromising 48-year-old's name at the head of Les Bleus would not have raised too many eyebrows inside l'Hexagone. When he succeeded Claude Puel in 2008, Garcia's coaching CV had little on it other than a promising spell at Dijon and a tantalising single season at Le Mans to suggest he could improve on his predecessor's achievements. Four years on, Garcia has comfortably outstripped them, and made Lille one of the most successful - and attractive - Ligue 1 sides. Seydoux, who reinstated Garcia after he was sacked by a wilful sporting director following his first season in charge, must approve.


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Joe Cole has found a new lease of life after swapping Merseyside for the Stade Metropole

Top scorers in the division in the previous two seasons, Lille were only bettered by PSG last season in the goalscoring stakes, though their all-round play was considered comfortably in advance of that proffered by Ancelotti's talented but wilful bunch of individuals. While PSG have bought stars to cram into an XI, Lille have carefully handpicked their purchases to match the team's ethos. "Lille is without a doubt one of the best teams in terms of their style of play," Martin said upon signing. "That's what I've always thought when I played against them in previous seasons. The style, which is based on going forward, suits me."

The fluid, eye-catching game Garcia espouses is in stark contrast to his hard-nosed, strait-laced demeanour. When Newcastle United faxed through an offer of €5 million for France international right-back Mathieu Debuchy, Garcia retorted that "they must have the wrong player", while Samir Nasri and Hatem Ben Arfa, to name just two, can be happy Didier Deschamps is the man to try to lead Les Bleus to Brazil 2014. "Everyone in the France camp should have been beyond reproach," Garcia said of the shenanigans at Euro 2012. "I think they were on the right path, and it's a shame that, for the sake of one or two individuals, all their good work should be wiped out in a couple of seconds. We should move forward without those who don't respect the shirt."

Garcia does not have such problems at his club. Solid pros such as his captain, Rio Mavuba, goalkeeper Mickael Landreau, and the unsung midfield metronome Florent Balmont, who recently inked a contract extension, are hardly the sort of player to own a Louis Vuitton dummy, never mind spit it out their pram. Those three will again play significant roles both on and off the pitch in the coming season, while Payet, Martin and Kalou will have to fill the creative vacuum left by Hazard's departure. If Brazilian forward Tulio de Melo can avoid injury and young striker Nolan Roux, picked up from Brest to replace Moussa Sow last season, can continue to improve, Lille will once again be pleasing on the eye. Youngsters, such as centre-back Lucas Digne and forward Bruno Gianni, are also being blooded to ensure continuity when the time comes for their senior team-mates to move on.

Given the periodic blood-letting at Lille, that is likely to be next summer for a number of them. Garcia will hope, however, that it will be after not only a successful domestic campaign but one in which they have impressed in Europe, the one area in which he is yet to match Puel. Last season, their inexperience at Champions League level showed as they exited bottom of a manageable-looking group. A play-off has to be negotiated this time around before they can hope to right that wrong, but - despite the loss of Hazard - even the big boys' Allianz Arena should now hold few fears.

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 Post subject: Re: All things French
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic's arrival at Paris Saint-Germain prompts French tax row
Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic will earn more than €1m a month, causing outrage at a time of austerity in France

Kim Willsher, Paris
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 21 July 2012 12.34 BST


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Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses with his Paris Saint-Germain shirt in front of the Eiffel Tower last week. Photograph: Christophe Karaba/EPA

French club football has not created many waves over the years. While the national side achieved greatness in the late 1990s, winning the World Cup on home territory and then Euro 2000, the club game has had a more modest profile. Or rather it did, until the multimillion-pound purchase of 30-year-old Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic by the capital's top club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Even three months ago, the signing of such a renowned international star would have been a great story for the sports pages. But in the new France of Socialist president François Hollande, who hopes to finance growth by raising the tax burden on the rich, Ibrahimovic has unwittingly become a national symbol of indecent rewards for the gilded few. Last week France became mildly obsessed by his earnings.

Ibrahimovic will be paid more than €1m (£778,000) a month to play for PSG, whose new Qatari owners have made clear that the salary will be raised high enough to soften the consequences of a proposed 75% top rate of tax, due to be imposed by Hollande in the autumn on those earning above €1m a year. The response to this outlandish remuneration has been furious across the political spectrum.

Budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac, who described Ibrahimovic's salary as "indecent", fulminated: "At a time when everyone around the world is tightening their belts, these figures are not impressive, they are indecent. This is not what sport is about."

His colleague Valérie Fourneyron, the sports minister, described the salary as "astronomical and unreasonable" and "a reflection of everything that is deplorable about football", even suggesting players' wages should be capped.

Roselyne Bachelot, a former sports minister in the right-of-centre government of Hollande's predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, said: "These wages make me indignant and almost disgust me."

Hollande himself, a sports lover, was more restrained, saying: "There are teams who manage to win, even in professional sport … without necessarily having very large wages."

Meanwhile, some observers have indignantly pointed out that PSG receive €1.5m in public money from the Paris city authorities and are counting on €10m in government funds towards the renovation of their Parc des Princes stadium. Such subsidies seem generous at best, given the far greater sums arriving from the Middle East.

The "scandal" of Ibrahimovic's salary has touched a nerve in a country that in May elected a government dedicated to an agenda of social justice and greater equality. Already a succession of media stories have speculated over a possible exodus of French businessmen, should the new top rate of tax be introduced.

Ibrahimovic has come the other way. But the financial details of the player's deal with PSG seem destined to remain shrouded in secrecy. Having paid AC Milan the €23m transfer fee for Ibrahimovic, PSG have refused to give exact details of his annual pay. A key question is whether the club or the player will pay the income tax due on his salary. Wages in France are sometimes described as "net" after social charges have been deducted but before income tax, not taken at source, is paid.

If Ibrahimovic is to pocket in the region of €14m (£10.9m) a year, it has been estimated that PSG will have to shell out a further €21m a year to the French state in taxes and social charges, even before the new 75% tax bracket is imposed, when the real cost could be four times his salary.

PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi said the club's owner, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), would respect French law when it came to paying Ibrahimovic's taxes, meaning that the French inland revenue would therefore gain a hefty whack of Ibrahimovic's eventual salary. That has led some on the left to argue that the transfer might not be such a bad thing after all.

Benoît Hamon, a government economy minister, was among the first to point out the advantages. "I am over the moon that Ibrahimovic is going to pay his taxes in France," Hamon said. "This is a demonstration that the higher rate of tax won't prevent big players from coming to play in France."

Government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem agreed, saying it was perfectly "natural" for the player to pay an "exceptional" level of tax to "contribute to the collective effort".

Frédéric Thiriez, the president of the French football league, said the critics were being churlish and insisted Ibrahimovic's move to Paris was "super news for everyone". "It's good for PSG and for football in general and Ligue 1 [the top division] in particular, which will be boosted in terms of audience and crowds," Thiriez said.

He added that it would be a boost for the influence of French football abroad and for the public finances, which would receive "millions in taxes".

"I've had enough of people always speaking of indecent or offensive payouts in football. Why always target football when it doesn't have the highest-paid athletes in the world? Rejecting the notion of money in professional sports is proof of immaturity in our country. Last year French clubs and players who play in France paid €622m in taxes and social charges."

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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:30 pm 
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PSG not starting too well! They need Lucas Moura quick! :lol:

Quote:
More disappointment for PSG
August 26, 2012


There were boos in the French capital as Paris Saint-Germain's winless start to the new Ligue 1 season continued with a 0-0 draw against Bordeaux.

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Alex and Carlos Henrique battle for possession in PSG's draw at home to Bordeaux

As was the case last season, big things are expected of Carlo Ancelotti's big-spending side, but for the third game running they were forced to settle for just a point.

Their fans made sure it was known they were not happy, though, sending their players back to the dressing rooms with the catcalls ringing in their ears as Bordeaux remained unbeaten and moved on to seven points.

Montpellier's troubled title defence continued as Marseille maintained their 100% start to the Ligue 1 season with a 1-0 win at Stade de la Mosson.

Andre-Pierre Gignac struck the winning goal in the 77th minute, capitalising on an error in the champions' backline, to make it three wins from three under new OM boss Elie Baup.

Defeat for Montpellier leaves them just one place above the relegation zone and still searching for their first win after three matches.

St Etienne secured their first league win of the season with a 4-0 home triumph over Brest.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started and finished the scoring for Les Verts, with Romain Hamouma and Josuha Guilavogui also on target as St Etienne got their first points on the board in style after starting the season with two defeats.

The result saw Christophe Galtier's side join their visitors on three points in the fledgling standings.

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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:34 am 
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Looks like Hollande has changed his mind and will include footballers in the 75% top tax band.

Exodus?


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:14 am 
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Looks like the Qatari owners have got a big tax bill on the way.

75% is ridiculous surely France will lose a lot of talented professionals to other countries


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:33 am 
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JSP wrote:
Looks like the Qatari owners have got a big tax bill on the way.

75% is ridiculous surely France will lose a lot of talented professionals to other countries


Sounds like the French FA are saying that, very worried.


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:49 am 
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I believe that all football contracts are negotiated on a net basis (so after tax) surely this is going to nearly bankrupt a large number of football teams as the wage bill is going to spike and there is nothing they can do about it unless they can convince these players to leave.

At what point does the 75% kick in? Is it a millionaire tax or is it just for high earners?


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:52 am 
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Not really an issue for PSG. But for all other teams it drives players in two directions.

The First is for those good enough/big enough to try and get a move to PSG where their tax will be handled by the owners (kinda).

The Second is to get the hell out of dodge. Which for me is a little unfair on the French League. It has been getting better, players signed from the lower to mid table of the French league seem to be doing alright for Newcastle. Also those moving to Italy and Spain appear to be pretty handy.

UK's 50% (which I believe is either 45% now or will be by October) Tax Band is looking alot more "attractive" to the footballer again.

Spain is finding it very difficult, for some reason the Government there allowed "Grandad" agreements to occur, so for the likes of C. Ronaldo they are still on the Favourable "Foreigners Tax" of 25% or whatever the silly amount was. Whereas for all new agreements that Tax rate has increased to a 50% rate too (IIRC). France will suffer, with the exodus heading wherever Tax is less, maybe Italy? Most likely out of Europe.

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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:01 am 
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The 75% comes in at 1m or more a year.

When all the fuss was made over here about Ibrahimovic's 1m a month wage I think the owners said it was that high because of the changes coming in the taxes.

PSG have about 10 players this would affect. I think the feeling here is the French FA think they will lose all their players, the league will struggle to compete in europe.

It's going to cost the ligue 1 clubs about 180m or something.


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:13 am 
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The problem for PSG will be FFP there is no way they can comply with it if their wage bill goes up again no matter how much the Qatar owners put in not having them compete in Europe makes it largely pointless as they need to be seen to be playing the top clubs in the world. The whole point of the PSG project is to show off how much Qatar loves football in the build up to 2022 this will be a major set back to them as I can't see many of the players being prepared to play for free like Becks.

It might actually do the national team some good in the long term as there will be less incentive for foreign players to move to France increasing the size of the potential player pool making it easier for young players to break through. The flip side of this is obviously the quality of the league will probably drop and more than likely they will start to lose European places as the coefficient drops so players wont be tested at the highest level.

The foreign professional (Beckham) law in spain no longer exists but it does apply to contracts signed before the law was abolished so hence why Ronaldo is currently at a bit of a stalemate with Madrid as not only will they have to increase his wages they will also have to double their tax contribution when he re-negotiates.


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:36 am 
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I guess with a player like Ronaldo it's pretty easy to solve by giving him more image rights.


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:51 am 
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Not sure how this works anymore as the tax authorities have got wise to that old trick and are shutting down the loopholes that players have been exploiting for years.

Spain's economy is on it's backside and they need the tax revenue from these football clubs so they're going to make it very hard for footballers to dodge tax now especially when so many of the clubs just haven't been paying their tax bill, I think thats why Malaga have been banned from Europe next season.

I wouldn't be surprised if deals are done and the French PM has a change of heart once the Qatari's offer to invest in some major infastructure projects.


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Will be interesting to see which way this goes with PSG - initially they were probably just going down the City/Chelsea route of spending big at first to get them exposure, get them european football and then when their revenue starts to rise, get rid of some of the big earners with the aim of being self-sustainable, however if FFP puts a stop to them getting international exposure then that will hit them hard in terms of lost TV revenue and also merchandise sales.

They have the potential to be a big club as AFAIK they're the only (major) side in Paris. If they can tap into that they should be able to grow fairly quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:34 pm 
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They're just like City it's a wealthy state showing off to the world how good they are by buying a football team that publicises the region.

The key as always is the getting established in the Champions League as this grows all your revenues.

I belive Al Jazeera have signed a new TV deal for the French league which gives everyone more money to help grow the league if they grow the league and establish themselves as the top dog within it they could be sitting on top of an absolute gold mine.

Not sure they ever saw this one coming and like you say it'll be interesting to see how they handle it they're surely in for the long haul with the World Cup in 2022 but they may have to look at going about it a different way.


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Italian reports suggest Monaco have paid €70m for Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez


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 Post subject: Re: All things French 2012/13
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Have they sorted out the tax issue with Monaco yet?

I know the other clubs aren't happy that they're being stung with the new 75% top earner tax levels but Monaco as a tax haven don't have to pay it.

I'm pretty sure they have some sort of FFP rules already in France to stop clubs running up huge debts again.

Should probably mention somewhere on this thread that PSG won the league :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Ligue Un Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:59 pm 
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The leading French football clubs are to stage a strike in protest at the French government's super tax on players' salaries.

The strike will affect the round of Ligue 1 and 2 matches which are due to be played from November 29 to December 2.

The action was unanimously agreed at an extraordinary general meeting of the clubs to decide the next steps in their campaign against the government's plan to implement a 75 per cent tax law for those who earn more than one million euros per year.

Companies, rather than individuals, will be liable to pay the 75 per cent tax rate for the part of employees' annual salaries that exceeds one million euros under the proposal and the clubs are worried that it will dissuade players from moving to France.

"There will be a weekend without a game at the end of the month (of November). It is the survival of French football that is at stake," said Jean-Pierre Louvel, who is president of the French professional clubs' union (UCPF).

Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain are scheduled to host Lyon on Sunday December 1, while Monaco are due to face Rennes and Marseille have a home fixture against Montpellier that weekend.


I can see why the clubs have got the hump over this because of the way footballers contracts are negotiated they agree a net rate so any fluctuation in taxes is paid by the clubs (seems odd that this is an accepted custom) they are going to have to pick up a huge tax bill that they can't afford. Also, because they are bound by rules of the game to honour the contracts they can't just sack the players without paying up the contract.


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 Post subject: Re: Ligue Un Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:45 pm 
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Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot have become the first professional men's club in France to appoint a female manager after naming Helena Costa as their new head coach.

Costa becomes the first female head coach of a team in the top two divisions of one of Europe's major five leagues.

The 36-year-old is the current boss of the Iran women's team and has previously managed the Qatar women's team.

Costa, who hails from Portugal, has previously coached youth teams at Benfica and has scouted for Scottish Premiership champions Celtic.

She will take over from Regis Brouard next season after the 47-year-old decided not to extend his two-year stay with the Auvergne-based outfit following their 1-0 defeat at home to Dijon on Friday.

"Clermont Foot 63 has chosen Helena Costa to be our new coach," the club said in a statement.

"Helena Costa came through the ranks at Benfica before taking charge of the women's teams at Odivelas, then the national teams of Qatar and Iran, in addition to working as a scout for Celtic.

"This appointment will allow Clermont Foot 63 to begin a new era, relying on a group of 17 players currently under contract, which will be added young players from the club."

In a statement, Celtic said: "We would like to congratulate Helena sincerely on taking up this new role.

"She did an excellent job for us and we know she will give her new position the same high level of commitment and dedication which she gave to Celtic."

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, France had Nelly Viennot as the first woman to be assistant referee in an elite match. Viennot also served as assistant referee in Champions League games.

Carolina Morace is the only other female to coach a professional men's team in Europe. She was in charge of Viterbese in the third tier Italian football but she only lasted two matches.

Clermont currently lie 14th in Ligue 2 with two matches of the season remaining.


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 Post subject: Re: Ligue Un Thread
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 12:28 pm 
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Paris St-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been voted Ligue 1's players' player of the year for the second season in a row.

The 32-year-old scored 25 league goals as PSG won the French title with a record 86 points, as well as scoring 10 goals in eight Champions League games.

"For the second year in a row, it's a great honour," the Swede said.

"I want to thank my team-mates, the coach, staff and supporters. I think this has been my best ever season."

He added: "The whole team had a magnificent campaign. I hope in the years to come we win the league, both cups and the Champions League as well as all the individual trophies."

Ibrahimovic also won goal of the year for a brilliant back-heel in a 4-0 win against Bastia back in October.

Team-mate Salvatore Sirigu won the goalkeeper of the year, while PSG midfielder Marco Verratti has won the young player award


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 Post subject: Re: Ligue Un Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:56 am 
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Helena Costa has decided not to take up the role of head coach at Clermont Foot next season, the French club say.

Portuguese Costa, 36, had been the highest-profile female manager to be put in charge of a men's team in European football when she was appointed in May.

Club president Claude Michy said she had "decided not to honour her commitments".

"This decision was sudden and surprising," he added.

The reasons for Costa's decision have not yet been made known.

Prior to accepting the job at second-tier club Clermont, Costa was coach of the Iran women's team and had also worked as a scout for Celtic and a youth coach at Benfica in Portugal.

Costa's appointment had been celebrated as a watershed moment for women in football.

"The decision will help the club enter a new era," Clermont said in a statement at the time. The club was praised by French women's minister Najat Belkacem for "understanding that giving a place to women is the future of professional football".

Before Costa was unveiled at Clermont, the highest-profile female coach of a men's team in Europe was Carolina Morace, who took charge of Italian Serie C1 team Viterbese for two matches in 1999.

"I deeply regret this situation," Michy said in a statement. "I thank all those who have supported me. The operation of the club will continue to prepare for the new season."

Speaking after she was named Clermont coach, Costa insisted she was "not afraid" of coaching a men's team. "If I didn't think I'm capable of this, I wouldn't be here," she said.

She had also expressed hope that her appointment would "open doors" for other female coaches to work in men's football.

Costa began her career at Benfica from 1997, spending 13 years at the Lisbon club. She then took charge of Portuguese lower-league men's team Cheleirense, where she won the Lisbon regional championship in 2006.

She went on to guide Portuguese women's side Sociedade Uniao 1 Dezembro to two league titles in 2007 and 2008, winning qualification into the Women's Champions League.

Costa led Qatar's women to their first international victory, a 4-1 win over Maldives in 2012, but was unsuccessful in her attempt to guide Iran to a debut appearance at the 2015 Women's World Cup finals.

She had been set to replace former Montpellier midfielder Regis Brouard at Clermont. The club finished 14th in Ligue 2 last season.


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