Football

Ligue 1 to reduce from 20 clubs to 18

The Ligue 1 opener between Marseille and Saint-Étienne has been called off.

French Ligue 1 is the first of the top five European Leagues to announce it will reduce the division from 20 teams to 18, with similar plans afoot in Serie A.

The increasingly packed fixture list and tight finances have prompted several of Europe’s major leagues to reconsider their current structure.

Ligue 1 becomes the first to take formal action, as the LFP announced today (Wednesday) that the 2022-23 season will see four teams relegated and only two promoted from Ligue 2.

That will take the total size of the tournament down from 20 clubs to 18.

Serie A is holding meetings for similar plans and presented the teams with a dossier on the financial impact of such a move.

The Italian top-flight had 16 or 18 clubs for many years until expanding to 20 in 2004-05.

That was largely due to the chaos over Catania suing against their relegation, which was tied in with other legal ramifications from Napoli and Cosenza financial irregularities.

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