No exemption: Brest told to move or face 5,000 capacity limit in event of European qualification

Stade Brestois have exceeded all expectations this season. When Eric Roy took over midway through last season, the club were mired in a fight for relegation. Today, Brest sit third in Ligue 1 and should they remain there, they will automatically qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. However, ahead of a potential European adventure, the Breton club have received some bad news. 

Brest have plans to build a new stadium. The club currently play in a rather decrepit 15,000-capacity stadium, the Stade Francis-Le Blé. As sporting director Grégory Lorenzi told Get French Football News in an exclusive interview earlier this season, the stadium is expected to be ready in 2027. Within this context, Brest’s president Denis Le Saint has ruled out doing work on their current stadium in order to comply with UEFA regulations. 

UEFA visited the Stade Francis-Le Blé in March and concluded that Brest’s stadium did not comply with regulations. It was marked as a Category 2 stadium. In order to comply, it must be a Category 4. Brest had hoped for an exemption, however, L’Équipe understands that this will not be granted. 

Could Brest move to Rennes or Nantes?

One of the major issues is that three of the four stands at the Stade Francis-Le Blé are tubular, which are banned by UEFA. Should Brest play their European matches, be it in the Champions League, UEFA Europa League or UEFA Europa Conference League, at their home stadium, the capacity would be limited to just 5,000. Brest, as well as the FFF (French Football Federation), have been informed of this decision. 

Les Pirates must now make a choice. They must either accept a capacity limit of just 5,000 fans or move to another stadium that complies with the regulations. FC Nantes’ Beaujoire Stadium and Stade Rennais’ Roazhon Park have been touted as alternative destinations for Brest. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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