It was set aside. Distorted. Many Ligue 1 heads are tired of his outings, exhausted by quarrels, and sometimes his ill will. Jean-Michel Aulas was excluded from major decisions, notably the decision to stop the tournament, in the spring of 2020. As a background, an anti-ULS front. Some welcomed his loss of influence. In September, Jean-Pierre Caillot, President of Reims, succeeded him at the helm of Ligue 1. The JMA was no longer a member of the LFP Board.
The terrible financial crisis currently affecting French football reminds us to what extent the JMA and its model cannot be traced back to the background. Especially since things are going well on the sporting level. This year, Lyon plays for the title. “OL and its president had the strategy most relevant to French football over the past 20 to 30 years. They built the stadium. Mr. Olas had this volunteer work to leave a model that relies heavily on receipts and TV transfers,” explains Christophe Lippettet, responsible for Economic Studies at the Center for Law and Economics in Limoges (CDES).
So beware, empty stadiums, TV rights at half mast, OL are also withstanding the current crisis with full force. Lyon suffered a net loss of 50.6 million euros during the last six months of 2020. It will not improve during the first half of 2021. “The crisis is affecting OL very hard, very worried. This obviously challenges and weakens their economic model. But OL is well equipped. Better than others to face it, continues Lepetit. Jean-Michel Olas had a vision side that pays off today. OL is more resilient and tomorrow will be more resilient in the face of the crisis. “
Labron’s arrival helped him head the LFP
“The model that Jean-Michel Aulas established in Lyon is the standard model today in France, and no one can oppose it,” says Vincent Labron, LFP president since September. But we must bear in mind, today, that the health crisis we are experiencing is undermining even this model, the reference model. The OL, like Ligue 1’s smallest budget, is hit hard and possibly in much larger proportions. “
OL suffer, like others, but their boss listens to him more. Even if some League 1 bosses have reservations about it. His suggestion, in mid-October in our columns – “We need Spotify football or Deezer football” – was commented on and reported widely. The JMA brought up the debate. Vincent Labron also played again. The two men value each other and exchange very regularly. In early February, Aulas was part of a steering committee, set up by Labrune, to dissect TV rights shows after Mediapro failed. He is also acting directly alongside the LFP in recent days (which he criticized a lot in 2020), to discuss financial aid granted to clubs with the state.
Less crazy on social networks
“At a time when professional football is going through the biggest crisis in its history, Jean-Michel Aulas is one example of the French football unit being rediscovered since this fall,” Vincent Labron continues. He’s a specialist, he’s worried, he’s proactive, he’s working a lot on his files. It is a real asset in the somewhat complex discussions that we can lead, both on television rights and during negotiations with the state two weeks ago.
JMA, supporting Le Graët to elect the FFF presidency, has also been looking after his contacts since last summer. He talks less, more on the topic, and allows himself to be drawn into a series of sterile tweets. It serves as an example. Some Ligue 1 investors, including representatives of the Nîmes management team, have visited his stadium in recent weeks. It is power for suggestion. In the vast majority of cases, his proposals are interesting and he has the advantage of putting the topics on the table. He is not afraid of getting into battle. Lippettet concludes that he has a very good vision and knowledge of football and its challenges, which makes him a person of great value on these topics. “