Ligue 1

The administrative organ that oversees the complete vertical of French football is the Ligue de Football Professional. Including in its responsibilities we find the top division French Ligue 1. Which is also known as Ligue 1 Conforama, that takes its name from the main sponsor. The League as such is a men’s football competition that works and takes its principal structure from the general football tournament rules and guidelines. Meaning, that it follows the same relegation and promotion system as most of European football. And considers the 5th highest ranked League, only outdone by Spain’s La Liga, England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A. With that out of the way, shall we explore the top segment of French football a bit further? And perhaps get some new-found knowledge to add to your football expertise.

Quick history

On September 11th 1932 the inaugurated season opened its doors. However, during its first year, the French Ligue 1 operated under a different name, National. Which then got renamed to Division 1 that lasted all the way to 2002. Plus, what makes French Ligue 1 a bit unique is its cross-border collaborator, Monaco. When it comes to the origin and the adaptation of professional football in France. The credit falls to former footballers Gabriel Hanot, Emmanuel Gambardella, and Georges Bayrou. However, it was not before the National Council of the French Football Federation made it official in 1932. With a landslide victory vote of 128 yes, versus 20 no. Although, it came with some criteria, like the limit of clubs, and the necessity to sign at least 8 football professionals. But, also that all finances were in order and that it would work sustainable.

Ligue 1 Table

How many teams include in the French Ligue 1?

We already touched on the subject matter, but let’s dissect it further. All in all, the French Ligue 1 consist of 20 teams. Which include 1 club from Monaco. And this is how the League has progressed from its origin. From its first season 1932/33, the 20 clubs got divided into to 2 groups of 10. Where the 3 bottom clubs from both groups faced relegation to Division 2. While the 2 top clubs faced off in a finale. However, the decision-maker agreed on to keep 14 clubs until season 1934/35 when the re-introduced the promotion and demotion system bringing the total of teams to 16, which persisted up to 1938/39 season when they brought in 2 more clubs. That once again got changed in season 1965/66 to what we see today, 20.

A season of French Ligue 1

A current season of the French Ligue 1 normally spans between August to May. Where all the 20 clubs meet each other 2 times, once at the home pitch and one time on the away arena. Taking the total count to 38 match days on any given season. Which usually plays on the weekend, although, some games do happen on a weekday. As well, the League makes a winter break 1 week before Christmas. And returns in full swing in January, normally around the 2nd week in. To bring home the victory of the League a club needs to finish off the season with the most amount of points. Which awards every time a match plays. Where 3 points get given for a win, and 1 point for a draw.

Who owns the League?

As in many cases, the organisers are the foundation the ownership of separate club owners stands on. And the same can get said for the French Ligue 1. As such the League as a whole gets brought to the public by the French Ligue de Football Professional. However, on a club level in French Ligue 1, the owner is mostly French businessmen. After all, European football is pure business for many involved parties.

French Ligue 1 competition champions

The club to beat in the French Ligue 1 is Saint-Étienne, that has not only claimed number one spot 10 times. (1956/57, 1963/64, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1973/74, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1980/81). But they also did it back to back on multiple occasions. Although, they are not sitting that securely with Marseille breathing down their neck with 9 wins. (1936/37, 1947/48, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92, 2009/10). And surprisingly enough, the third spot populates with 3 clubs, only one win from 2nd place. Where we have Paris Saint-Germain (1985/86, 1993/94, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2017/18, 2018/19) And AS Monaco (1960/61, 1962/63, 1977/78, 1981/82, 1987/88, 1996/97, 1999/2000, 2016/17) But also FC Nantes (1964/65, 1965/66, 1972/73, 1976/77, 1979/80, 1982/83, 1994/95, 2000/01).ligue 1

Extraordinary moments in French Ligue 1

Many clubs in the League can brag with a huge number of matches played. But, its only one that can call themselves, record-holders. Wich is Olympique de Marseille with its 2494 games. Even if Olympique Lyonnais did not make the list of French Ligue 1 competition champions. They still have won the trophy 7 times, but what’s so astonishing with Lyon is that all the 7 wins were consecutively (2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08).

Top goal scorers and record keepers in French Ligue 1

Pedro Miguel Pauleta is the man to chase after with his 141 goals, of which 24 via a penalty kick. Only 5 goals behind we find Edinson Cavani where 21 of the goal total are from penalty kicks as well. Slight falling behind we find Bafetimbi Gomis, still with a respectfully 122. Plus, he possesses a better ratio on goals scored versus goal done via a penalty, if compared with the number 1 and number 2 spot. Also, worth to mention is, that if playtime takes into consideration, Zlatan Ibrahimovic actually makes the list of game-time versus goal ratio. Meaning his total playtime is “only” 6186 minutes and still produced 113 goals. Comparing to Bafetimbi Gomis 8068 minutes.

Live viewership and the home audience

Looking back at the previous seasons, the average live attendance stumbles around 22,500 people. To compare, that’s roughly 4,000 more tickets sold on average than the Sky Bet Championship has. But, keep in mind, French Ligue 1 is the top segment of French football, while the Championship is only the 2nd highest overall League in the English football league system. When it comes to a home audience of the French Ligue 1, it’s more or less as expected. Many fans choose to tune in from a distance at comfort from their home. Plus, the League does broadcast all of Europe, even across the Atlantic. As well, you will find some matched streamed via different bookmakers.

Can you place bets on French Ligue 1?

As being the top League in France, you will definitely be going to find sports bet operators that offer odds on the League. And you should find no problem locating the bets you like to place. Additionally, you can approximately count to find as many markets and odds as the Sky Bet Championship and Premier League has. And that will be true for all top tier bookmakers in the UK. As such, getting your sports betting on is both simple and easy when looking at this League.