Anti-corruption association questions LFP Media and CVC investment alleging ‘embezzlement’

At the end of November, the anti-corruption association AC!! filed a complaint to the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office against LFP media, to investigate the legality of its creation in 2022 and the subsequent deal it made with CVC. According to L’Équipe, this was filed due to a suspicion of “embezzlement of public funds.” 

The complaint states, “Whistleblowers, whose anonymity will be kept at this stage, informed the association of potential financial anomalies surrounding the creation of the affiliate company LFP1.” This refers to the creation of LFP Media, the commercial company in charge of selling the rights associated with Ligue 1, such as broadcasting and advertising rights. 

In 2022, alongside the announcement by the league that they had created LFP media, they also detailed a significant investment from CVC Capital Partners for €1.5 billion, who will subsequently receive 13.04% of all future French football revenue. 

AC!! have raised a series of questions about the creation of the subsidiary company and the investment into it by CVC, within their complaint they ask, “Is it legal or not to be able to transfer football rights (in the broadest sense) to a commercial company… Can the LFP definitively cede the commercial rights to French football or should it have remained for the duration of its sub-delegation?” 

Despite these questions, the complaint remains reportedly vague on the facts to support its suspicions. For now, the National Financial Prosector’s Office will continue to analyse its queries and will judge whether there will need to be an investigation into this matter. 

L’Équipe reports that it’s expected that it will be a long time before there will be any further update, due to the complexity of the allegations and the lack of information provided within the complaint. 

Independently of this complaint, the French Senate is beginning its own investigation into the creation of LFP Media and the CVC investment. 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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