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Amiens launches petition to restore Ligue 1 status; Seeks 22-team league


AMIENS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 15: Juan Otero Tovar of Amiens during the Ligue 1 match between Amiens SC and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stade de la Licorne on February 15, 2020 in Amiens, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

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“For Justice” is the headline of a new post on the web site of Ligue 1 side Amiens SC, who is furious at its relegation from a season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Amiens were four points back of safety with 10 matches to play, winless in 16 matches but picking up draws in five of their last seven before the coronavirus pause.

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Ligue 1 canceled its season and awarded Paris Saint-Germain the title, sending Amiens and Toulouse to Ligue 2, but Amiens is petitioning the French league to play a 22-team table in 2020-21.

“Amiens SC is asking the Football League to review its position and make the fairest choice: a Ligue 1 with 22 clubs for the 2020/2021 season. Supporters from Amiens and football lovers, support our initiative that would make football and sport grow,” the club wrote, linking to a petition and asking for fans to sign.

Amiens’ anger extends into the fabric of the city, with the mayor arguing that the club exiting Ligue 1 makes the area “lose part of our attractiveness as a city by default.”

The 119-year-old club finally hit the heights of the top flight when it won promotion in 2016-17. Like any club whose season is shortchanged in a degrading manner by the pandemic, they are righteously aggrieved.

But what’s the proper solution? Expanded tables lead to more fixture congestion, which taxes the more successful clubs. Expanded tables would also demand either the slimming of European competition or severe changes to the domestic cup schedule. Could we see a season without domestic cups?