The French Football Federation (FFF) and French Rugby Federation (FFR) have united in an effort to secure better financial conditions for their lease deals at the Stade de France, according to L’Équipe.
The French newspaper’s report yesterday (Tuesday) evening said that FFF president, Noël Le Graët, met his FFR counterpart, Bernard Laporte, on April 19 to discuss the matter.
The FFF’s current contract to stage games at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, is due to run through to 2024, while the FFR extended its deal through to 2025 back in September 2018. The deals were signed with Consortium Stade de France (CSDF).
The Stade de France is owned by the state. Through an agreement with the consortium formed by construction firms Vinci and Bouygues, the state placed the management of the stadium in the hands of the two companies in 1995.
The FFF currently pays around €2m (£1.68m/$2.12m) per game to play at the Stade de France, with the FFR’s deal coming in at around €1m per match. The two governing bodies are said to be seeking a reduction in what they pay under their current deals, almost 50% according to L’Équipe, along with negotiating a better price in the next call for tenders for the management of the stadium from July 1, 2025.
At the end of last year, in an interview with newspaper Le Parisien, Le Graët declared that he would “never renew this contract in my lifetime. We have paid enough”.
The FFF argues that in order to balance its costs, games it stages at the 78,000-capacity Stade de France must attract attendances of at least 65,000, with matches played away from the national stadium currently more financially viable.
The FFR’s contract is said to be more favourable, owing to hospitality revenue it can generate from rugby union games played at the Stade de France.
In February, the FFR was told to pay €150,000 in compensation to the contractor it appointed to deliver its aborted ‘Grand Stade’ project, but a court ruled it was not liable for a significantly higher financial penalty.
The judicial court of Évry (Essonne) ruled that the FFR unfairly terminated its contract with Ibelys, a consortium of four companies that was due to manage the development of the project.
In December 2016, the FFR scrapped the proposed project to build a new national stadium on the outskirts of Paris, choosing instead to focus on a new deal to play at the Stade de France.