French football news

Le Mans to appeal demotion to sixth tier

July 16, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Le Mans will appeal to France's Olympic Committee in a bid to get the decision to demote them to the sixth tier of French football overturned.

On the pitch, the club, in Ligue 1 only three years ago, was relegated to the Championnat National, France's third tier, after a poor Ligue 2 campaign. However, having initially been condemned to the fourth division by French football's financial watchdog, the DNCG, for their €14.4 million debt in February - a decision confirmed in June - they were excluded from all national competitions and sent two divisions lower on appeal on July 9.

The club - which counts Didier Drogba, Gervinho, Grafite and Stephane Sessegnon among its former players - will now argue its case to the country's Olympic Committee (CNOSF), their final recourse for appeal, as soon as written confirmation of their demotion is received.

"We're appealing because we're defending the club's interests as I consider this demotion to be harsh," president Henri Legarda explained. "It's to preserve the general interest of the club that I've asked the shareholders whether they agreed that we appeal, because that means we continue, that we take risks, and so I needed their agreement."