More than €1.8 billion! These are the investment figures for the renovation of French stadiums for the UEFA EURO 2016 football tournament, which compared with the investment cost in Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup is about 500 million euros less. A considerable sum for the construction or renovation shows the importance of the upcoming event for the European Nations cup. Such an investment could be a turning point for French football, and to be more accurate, for the competitiveness of French clubs whose level is currently below that of their Europeans counterparts. 11 French cities were selected to host this event:
|Place||Name of the stadium||Current seat capacity||Future Capacity|
|Saint-Denis||Stade de France||80000||80000|
|Lyon||Stade des Lumieres||42000||55000|
|Paris||Parc des Princes||45000||60000|
|Nice||Olympic Nice Stadium||16000||35000|
As you may have noticed, French football will enter a new era after the construction of these “Grands Stades”! It will generate more funds for the best French clubs (Lyon, Marseille, Paris and Lille), more benefits and may attract more foreign financial investments such as for Paris-Saint-Germain this year. This great project was influenced by the FIFA World Cup in 1998 hosted by France that year. Unfortunately, these investments were insufficient for a football country like France. Except the Stade de France (one of the largest stadiums in Europe), France can’t currently boast about having great stadiums like its neighbours. The hosting of the UEFA Euro 2016 will put an end to this lack of facilities in French football.
What will happen to the French Championship?
It will undoubtedly enhance the level in France because the Ligue 1 (The French Premiership) is currently far less attractive than the Barclays Premier League in England and the Liga in Spain as its clubs are not the favourites in the Champions League (the European’s clubs championship) but only outsiders. For example, only one French club won the competition (Marseille in 1993) since 1955, the year of its creation. In England, many clubs have won the Champions League several times:
– Liverpool: 5 times
– Manchester United: 3 times
– Nottingham Forest: 2 times
– Aston Villa: 1 time
And in Spain:
– Real Madrid: 9 times
– Barcelona: 4 times
Nevertheless, women’s football is going well as Olympique Lyonnais won the Champions League against Potsdam in London last month, which proves that French football has great potential.
French football has always trained excellent young players who then left to a better rated country e.g. Drogba, Malouda, Benzema and Abidal all come from the Ligue 1. It explains the relatively good economic situation of French clubs who often sell their best players to big European clubs at very interesting prices.
Better days are coming for French football which has already come a long way up til now.