Ligue 1: What Will French Football Look Like After COVID-19?

Sports is not a priority right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has rightfully taken its place. It is important that you follow the instructions of your local government and health institutions: even if you think that COVID-19 will not affect you, you could spread it to someone who would be affected by it. This article does not seek to belittle the ongoing pandemic, but while most of us are cooped up at home, it’s nice to be able to talk about football.

Cover: ol.fr

At the time of writing, football worldwide has faded in the background. On Tuesday afternoon, UEFA suspended European competitions and made the unprecedented move to postpone EURO 2020 to next year in the hope that the current season can conclude. France, like most of the world, is battling a pandemic that is straining health resources and personnel.

Amid all the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, the future of the 2019/2020 Ligue 1 season, like football elsewhere, has clouded over. For a few days, weeks or months, football was set to become secondary. That changed with jarring effect over the weekend, when the pandemic gave way to a polemic.

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Podcast: Episode 11 – A Grinchy Lyonnais Christmas

Gather around the hearth, bring all the mulled wine you can carry—you will need the booze, trust us—because the Lyon Offside team is back with some depressing Christmas-time crisis stories. Join Arianna (@AScavs), Nicholas (@NicholasMamo) and Sam (@OZOL1950) as they break down the current impasse at Lyon.

Cover: S. Guiochon/Le Progrès

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Out With The Youth, In With The Youth

“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough!” The cliche mantra that all aspiring young Olympique Lyonnais academy players whisper to themselves as they drift asleep every night, it’s also a mentality that runs rich through the veins of the clubs DNA. From the president Jean Michel Aulas and to the supporters Lyonnais and worldwide, it’s no longer a well kept secret that the club is topped to the brim with young talented players all fizzing to become the next breakout star, and add their name to the rich list of stars to have passed through the colours of Olympique Lyonnais.

Jean Lucas signed from Santos
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Nabil Fekir moves to Real Betis. Yeah, you read that right.

Everyone’s favorite reality show, Finally Signing the Fekirs, switched networks yesterday. Next season, it will be syndicated in Spain, not France.

Am I being dramatic? Abso-feking-lutely not. It’s a transfer saga that’s gone on for over a year, one that’s emotionally drained Lyon fans, Liverpool fans, and everyone else in between.

Nabil Fekir in Saint Etienne colors. It’s a dark day for Lyon fans.

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Podcast: Episode 5 – Brazilians, Hat Tricks, and Saucy Things

It’s been an epic two weeks at Chez Lyon. Between the changes to Lyon’s hierarchy to OL Féminin’s continued domination, there’s a lot to unpack. Lucky for you, Sam (@OZOL1950), Arianna (@AScavs), Nick (@NicholasMamo), and Rabeeta (@OffsideBeet) are here to break down the appointments of Juninho and Sylvinho and what they can bring to the club, as well as OL Féminin’s extra special masterclass against Barcelona to win their 4th consecutive Women’s Champions League title.

Have a listen below! You will also find timestamps for specific topics if you’d like to jump around. If there are any topics you’d like us to cover, just tweet at any one of us, or you can send an email to LyonOffside@gmail.com.

Topics Covered:

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Bruno Genesio: Anatomy of a Crash-and-Burn

It made for a pitiful sight. On Saturday afternoon, Bruno Genesio presented himself at a press conference to announce his decision – no longer Jean-Michel Aulas’ decision, but his – that the 2018/2019 season would be his last at the helm of Olympique Lyonnais.

Genesio was all alone; there was no Jean-Michel Aulas, who had had his back for years on end. Against Dijon and Nantes, it seemed even the players were no longer behind their coach anymore.

As for the supporters, many had abandoned him long ago, and with good reason. Lyon had the second-highest operating budget in Ligue 1 at €285M, but you would not know it by watching them play. On Saturday evening, they found themselves in third place deservedly behind Lille.

Genesio’s press conference brought to an end a will-they-or-won’t-they saga surrounding his future at the club. It was a drawn out story, unworthy of a club of Lyon’s stature – a tale that, much like Genesio’s own tenure, should have ended far earlier than it did.

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