New development in French TV saga increases possibility of Leeds United repeating Raphinha move

Leeds United’s autumn acquisition of Brazilian winger Raphinha has proven to be one of the shrewdest pieces of business by any Premier League side so far this season.

His impact on the team can most accurately be measured by his effect on Helder Costa’s minutes – a first-team regular at the beginning of the season – who has featured in less than an hour of Premier League football since Raphinha’s full debut.

The 24-year-old was poached from Stade Rennais, a Champions League side competing in France’s top flight.

It was a deal Leeds felt it would be improbable to complete until the final knockings of the transfer window when Rennes suddenly and inexplicably made him available for a reasonable price.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Click to play
Tap to play

The video will auto-play soon8Cancel

Play now

Since then, French football has been rocked by the news that major broadcaster and television rights holder Mediapro would renege on their agreement to provide a €1.1 billion TV rights package to French clubs in Ligue 1 and 2. As a result, clubs find themselves out of pocket, with some anticipating the inability to pay players by February or March.

This situation has been worsened with news that long-time broadcast partner Canal+ will not pick up the remaining televised games, originally awarded to Mediapro, at a discount. Instead they have implored the LFP (Ligue de Football Professionnel) to issue a new tender, meaning all games will be up for grabs.

Read More
Read More

This is likely to create a scenario where French clubs find themselves in even greater financial turmoil as no broadcast company will pay close to the €1.1 billion sum originally agreed.

Consequently clubs in France, excluding perhaps only Paris Saint-Germain, are anticipated to flog their best assets in something of an SOS firesale.

Of course, this means clubs like Leeds United will be keeping a watchful eye on the developing situation, eager to pounce on similar Raphinha-type deals.

Late last year, it was suggested Jonathan Panzo would be a good fit at Leeds as a tall, ball-playing centre-back, who also qualifies as a homegrown player having grown up in Chelsea’s academy and represented England at U-21 level.

As yet, clubs in Ligue 1 will be unlikely to make too many hasty decisions in the event that a new broadcast deal can be secured, however if this saga is prolonged any further, clubs will become more and more desperate to raise funds by whatever means necessary.

Unexpected pick-ups may become the norm from French sides, especially amongst those further down the table, not flushed with cash or TV revenue from continental fixtures.

.

No Comments

    Leave a reply