Ligue 2

Last updated
Ligue 2
Ligue2 2020'-21.jpg
Founded1933
Country France
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams 20
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to Ligue 1
Relegation to Championnat National
Domestic cup(s) Coupe de France
International cup(s) Europa League (via cups)
Current champions Lorient (1st title)
(2019–20)
Most championships Le Havre
Nancy
(5 titles each)
TV partners beIN Sports
Téléfoot
Website Ligue2.fr (in French)
Soccerball current event.svg 2020–21 Ligue 2
The Ligue 2 trophy Trophee de la Ligue 2.JPG
The Ligue 2 trophy

Ligue 2 (French pronunciation:  [liɡ dø] , League 2), also known as Ligue 2 BKT due to sponsorship by Balkrishna Industries, is a French professional football league. The league serves as the second division of French football and is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), the other being Ligue 1, the country's top football division. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with both Ligue 1 and the third division Championnat National. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 games each totalling 380 games in the season. Most games are played on Fridays and Mondays, with a few games played during weekday and weekend evenings. Play is regularly suspended the last weekend before Christmas for two weeks before returning in the second week of January.

Contents

Ligue 2 was founded a year after the creation of the first division in 1933 under the name Division 2 and has served as the second division of French football ever since. The name lasted until 2002 before switching to its current name. Since the league is a part of the LFP, it allows clubs who are on the brink of professionalism to become so. However, if a club suffers relegation to the Championnat National, its professional status can be revoked temporarily until they return to Ligue 2.

History

The second division of French football was established in 1933, one year after the creation of the all-professional first division. The inaugural season of the competition consisted of the six clubs who were relegated following the 1932–33 National season, as well as many of the clubs who opposed the creation of the first division the previous season. Clubs such as Strasbourg, RC Roubaix, and Amiens SC all played in the second division's debut season despite having prior grievances with the subjective criteria needed to become professional and play in the first division. The first year of the second division consisted of twenty-three clubs and were divided into two groups (Nord and Sud). Fourteen of the clubs were inserted into the Nord section, while the remaining nine were placed in Sud. Following the season, the winner of each group faced each other to determine which club would earn promotion. On 20 May 1934, the winner of the Nord group, Red Star Saint-Ouen, faced Olympique Alès, the winner of the Sud group. Red Star were crowned the league's inaugural champions following a 3–2 victory. Despite losing, Alès was also promoted to the first division and they were followed by Strasbourg and Mulhouse, who each won a pool championship, after the first division agreed to expand its teams to 16.

Division 2 champions (Pre-WWII)
SeasonWinner
1933–34 Red Star Saint-Ouen
1934–35 CS Metz
1935–36 Rouen
1936–37 Lens
1937–38 Le Havre
1938–39 Red Star Saint-Ouen

Due to several clubs merging, folding, or losing their professional status, the federation turned the second division into a 16-team league and adopted the single-table method for the 1934–35 season. Due to the unpredictable nature of French football clubs, the following season, the league increased to 19 clubs and, two years later, increased its allotment to 25 teams with the clubs being divided into four groups. Because of World War II, football was suspended by the French government and the Ligue de Football Professionnel. Following the end of the war, the second division developed stability. Due to the increase in amateur clubs, the league intertwined professional and amateur clubs and allowed the latter to become professional if they met certain benchmarks. In 2002, the league changed its name from Division 2 to Ligue 2.

In November 2014, the presidents of Caen and Nîmes were amongst several arrested on suspicion of match fixing. The arrests followed a 1–1 draw between Caen and Nîmes in May 2014, a result very beneficial for each club. [1] [2]

Competition format

There are 20 clubs in Ligue 2. During the course of a season, usually from August to May, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 38 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion and promoted to Ligue 1. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship or for relegation, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The second and third-place finisher are also promoted to the first division, while the three lowest placed teams are relegated to the Championnat National and the top three teams from National are promoted in their place. While a decision was originally made that during the season 2015-2016 only the best two teams would be promoted to Ligue 1 and the last two teams would be relegated to the National, [3] that decision was later overturned by an appeal to the Conseil d'État [4] and the French Football Federation. [5] [6]

Ligue 2 members (2020–21 season)

ClubLocationVenueCapacity
Ajaccio Ajaccio Stade François Coty 10,446
AJ Auxerre Auxerre Stade Abbé-Deschamps 21,378
Chambly Chambly Stade des Marais [lower-alpha 1] 3,000
Caen Caen Stade Michel d'Ornano 21,215
Châteauroux Châteauroux Stade Gaston Petit 17,173
Clermont Clermont-Ferrand Stade Gabriel Montpied 11,980
Dunkerque Dunkerque Stade Marcel Tribut 4,200
Grenoble Grenoble Stade des Alpes 18,378
Guingamp Guingamp Stade du Roudourou 18,378
Le Havre Le Havre Stade Océane 20,000
Nancy Nancy Stade Marcel Picot 20,087
Niort Niort Stade René Gaillard 10,886
Paris Paris Stade Charléty 20,000
Pau Pau Stade du Hameau 18,324
Rodez Rodez Stade Paul-Lignon 5,955
Sochaux Montbéliard Stade Auguste Bonal 20,000
Troyes Troyes Stade de l'Aube 20,420
Valenciennes Valenciennes Stade du Hainaut 25,172

Previous winners

ClubWinnersRunners-upWinning yearsRunner-up years
Le Havre 511937–38, 1958–59, 1984–85, 1990–91, 2007–081949–50
Nancy 511974–75, 1989–90, 1997–98, 2004–05, 2015–161969–70
Lens 421936–37, 1948–49, 1972–73, 2008–092013–14, 2019–20
Nice 411947–48, 1964–65, 1969–70, 1993–941984–85
Lille 411963–64, 1973–74, 1977–78, 1999–20001970–71
Metz 431934–35, 2006–07, 2013–14, 2018–191950–51, 1960–61, 1966–67
Montpellier 331945–46, 1960–61, 1986–871951–52, 1980–81, 2008–09
Saint-Étienne 331962–63, 1998–99, 2003–041933–34, 1937–38, 1985–86
Strasbourg 321976–77, 1987–88, 2016–171971–72, 2001–02
Lyon 31950–51, 1953–54, 1988–89
Rennes 251955–56, 1982–831938–39, 1957–58, 1975–76, 1989–90, 1993–94
Valenciennes 251971–72, 2005–061934–35, 1936–37, 1961–62, 1974–75, 1991–92
Red Star 231933–34, 1938–391954–55, 1964–65, 1973–74
Angers 231968–69, 1975–761955–56, 1977–78, 1992–93
Sochaux 221946–47, 2000–011963–64, 1987–88
Caen 221995–96, 2009–102003–04, 2006–07
Alès 211933–34, 1956–571946–47
FC Nancy 211945–46, 1957–581959–60
Reims 211965–66, 2017–182011–12
Ajaccio 211966–67, 2001–022010–11
Toulouse 211981–82, 2002–031996–97
Grenoble 21959–60, 1961–62
Bastia 21967–68, 2011–12
Nîmes 131949–501967–68, 1990–91, 2017–18
Sedan 131954–551971–72, 1998–99, 2005–06
Brest 131980–811978–79, 2009–10, 2018–19
Marseille 131994–951965–66, 1983–84, 1995–96
Monaco 132012–131952–53, 1970–71, 1976–77
Rouen 121935–361933–34, 1981–82
Stade Français 121951–521945–46, 1958–59
Troyes 122014–151953–54, 1972–73
Lorient 122019–201997–98, 2000–01
Toulouse (1937) 111952–531945–46
Tours 111983–841979–80
Bordeaux 111991–921948–49
Paris Saint-Germain 11970–71
Gueugnon 11978–79
Auxerre 11979–80
RCF Paris 11985–86
Martigues 11992–93
Châteauroux 11996–97
Evian 12010–11

Notes:

Top goalscorers

SeasonGoalsTop Scorer(s)Club(s)
1933–34 54 goals Jean Nicolas FC Rouen
1934–35 30 goals Jean Nicolas FC Rouen
1935–36 45 goals Jean Nicolas FC Rouen
1936–37 30 goals Viktor Spechtl RC Lens
1937–38 29 goals Hugo Lammana CA Paris
1938–39 39 goals Harold Newell & Planques US Boulogne & Toulouse FC (1937)
1939–45 World War II
1945–46 27 goalsCampiglia SCO Angers
1946–47 45 goals Jozef "Pépé" Humpal FC Sochaux
1947–48 28 goals Henri Arnaudeau Girondins de Bordeaux
1948–49 41 goals Camille Libar Girondins de Bordeaux
1949–50 27 goals Edmund Haan Nîmes Olympique
1950–51 23 goals Thadée Cisowski FC Metz
1951–52 34 goals Egon Johnsson Stade Français football
1952–53 27 goals Bror Mellberg Toulouse FC (1937)
1953–54 36 goals Jean Courteaux RC Paris
1954–55 40 goals Petrus Van Rhijn Valenciennes Football Club
1955–56 32 goals Petrus Van Rhijn Valenciennes Football Club
1956–57 27 goals Fernand Devlaeminck Lille OSC
1957–58 29 goals Egon Johnsson FC Nancy
1958–59 31 goals Petrus Van Rhijn Stade Français football
1959–60 29 goalsCorbel FC Rouen
1960–61 28 goals Casimir Kozakiewicz RC Strasbourg
1961–62 21 goals Serge Masnaghetti Valenciennes Football Club
1962–63 24 goals Ernesto Gianella AS Béziers (football)
1963–64 21 goals Abderrahmane Soukhane Le Havre AC
1964–65 22 goals Anton Groschulski Red Star Saint-Ouen
1965–66 30 goals Pierre Ferrazzi Grenoble Foot 38
1966–67 23 goals Etienne Sansonetti SC Bastia
1967–68 26 goals Jacques Bonnet Avignon Football 84
1968–69 55 goals Gérard Grizetti AS Angoulême
1969–70 21 goals Robert Blanc FC Nancy
1970–71 20 goals
20 goals
20 goals
Nord: Yves Triantafyllos
Centre: Robert Blanc
Sud: Emmanuel Koum
US Boulogne
Limoges Foot 87
AS Monaco
1971–72 20 goals
28 goals
40 goals
Gr. A: Pierre Pleimelding
Gr. B: Yegba Maya Joseph
Gr. C: Marc Molitor
Troyes AC
Valenciennes Football Club
RC Strasbourg
1972–73 22 goals
31 goals
Gr. A: Eugeniusz Faber
Gr. B: Gérard Tonnel
RC Lens
Troyes AC
1973–74 26 goals
24 goals
Gr. A: Erwin Wilczek
Gr. B: Nestor Combin
Valenciennes Football Club
Red Star Saint-Ouen
1974–75 25 goals
28 goals
Gr. A: Georges Tripp
Gr. B: Jean Martinez
Stade Laval
AS Nancy
1975–76 22 goals
25 goals
Gr. A: Boško Antić
Gr. B: Marc Berdoll
SM Caen
SCO Angers
1976–77 30 goals
24 goals
Gr. A: Delio Onnis
Gr. B: Albert Gemmrich
AS Monaco
RC Strasbourg
1977–78 19 goals
23 goals
 
Gr. A: Giudicelli
Gr. B: Jean-Claude Garnier
Gr. B: Pierre-Antoine Dossevi
Olympique Alès
USL Dunkerque
Tours FC
1978–79 24 goals
26 goals
Gr. A: Antoine Trivino
Gr. B: Patrice Martet
FC Gueugnon
Stade Brestois
1979–80 16 goals
19 goals
 
Gr. A: Alain Polaniok
Gr. A: Bernard Ferrigno
Gr. B: Jacky Vergnes
Gr. B: Robert Pintenat
Stade de Reims
Tours FC
Montpellier HSC
Toulouse FC
1980–81 32 goals
22 goals
Gr. A: Robert Pintenat
Gr. B: Marcel Campagnac
Toulouse FC
Sporting Club Abbeville
1981–82 18 goals
25 goals
 
Gr. A: Marc Pascal
Gr. B: Zarko Olaveric
Gr. B: Isiaka Ouattara
Olympique de Marseille
Le Havre AC
FC Mulhouse
1982–83 28 goals
18 goals
Gr. A: Wlodzimierz Lubanski
Gr. B: Christian Dalger
Valenciennes Football Club
Sporting Toulon Var
1983–84 23 goals
23 goals
Gr. A: Mario Relmy
Gr. B: Omar Da Fonseca
Limoges Foot 87
Tours FC
1984–85 27 goals
28 goals
Gr. A: John Eriksen
Gr. B: Jorge Dominguez
FC Mulhouse
OGC Nice
1985–86 22 goals
29 goals
Gr. A: Jean-Marc Valadier
Gr. B: Eugene N'Goy Kabongo
Montpellier HSC
RC Paris
1986–87 22 goals
21 goals
Gr. A: Zvonko Kurbos
Gr. B: Gaspard N'Gouete
FC Mulhouse
SC Bastia
1987–88 18 goals
 
26 goals
Gr. A: Jean-Pierre Orts
Gr. A: Stéphane Paille
Gr. B: Patrice Martet
Olympique Lyonnais
FC Sochaux
FC Rouen
1988–89 22 goals
27 goals
Gr. A: Roberto Cabanas
Gr. B: Robby Langers
Stade Brestois
US Orléans
1989–90 26 goals
21 goals
Gr. A: Didier Monczuk
Gr. B: Jean-Pierre Orts
RC Strasbourg
FC Rouen
1990–91 23 goals
19 goals
Gr. A: Didier Monczuk
Gr. B: Christophe Lagrange
RC Strasbourg
SCO Angers
1991–92 22 goals
21 goals
Gr. A: Jean-Pierre Orts
Gr. B: Didier Monczuk
FC Rouen
RC Strasbourg
1992–93 21 goals
18 goals
Gr. A: Franck Priou
Gr. B: Jean-Pierre Orts
AS Cannes
FC Rouen
1993–94 27 goals Yannick Le Saux Stade Briochin
1994–95 31 goals Tony Cascarino Olympique Marseille
1995–96 30 goals Tony Cascarino Olympique Marseille
1996–97 23 goals Samuel Michel FC Sochaux
1997–98 20 goals Reginald Ray Le Mans Union Club 72
1998–99 20 goals Hamed Diallo Stade Laval
1999–2000 17 goals Amara Traoré FC Gueugnon
2000–01 21 goals Francileudo Santos FC Sochaux
2001–02 18 goals Hamed Diallo Amiens SC
2002–03 20 goals Cédric Fauré Toulouse FC
2003–04 17 goals David Suarez Amiens SC
2004–05 24 goals Bakari Koné FC Lorient
2005–06 16 goals Jean-Michel Lesage & Steve Savidan Le Havre AC & Valenciennes Football Club
2006–07 18 goals Jean-Michel Lesage & Kandia Traore Le Havre AC & Le Havre AC
2007–08 28 goals Guillaume Hoarau Le Havre AC
2008–09 18 goals Grégory Thil US Boulogne
2009–10 21 goals Olivier Giroud Tours FC
2010–11 23 goals Sebastián Ribas Dijon FCO
2011–12 15 goals Cédric Fauré Reims
2012–13 23 goals Mustapha Yatabaré EA Guingamp
2013–14 23 goals Andy Delort & Mathieu Duhamel Tours FC & SM Caen
2014–15 18 goals Mickaël Le Bihan Le Havre AC
2015–16 21 goals Famara Diedhiou Clermont Foot
2016–17 23 goals Adama Niane ESTAC Troyes
2017–18 24 goals Umut Bozok Nîmes
2018–19 27 goals Gaëtan Charbonnier Brest
2019–20 20 goals Tino Kadewere Le Havre

Records

77 points (1994–95 season) or 1.833 points per game (42 games) for Toulouse FC.
72 points (1995–96 season, 22 teams involved): or 1.71 points per game for Stade Lavallois.
69 points (2006–07 season, 20 teams involved): or 1.82 points per game for Amiens SC.

Broadcaster

France

BroadcasterDuration
beIN Sports 2012–13 → 2023–24
Eurosport 2008–09 → 2011–12
Numericable 2008–09 → 2009–10
Téléfoot 2020–21 → 2023–24

International

Sponsorship names

Notes

  1. The upgrade work on Stade des Marais is due for completion by September 2020, and Chambly hope to be able to play their 2020–21 Ligue 2 fixtures at the new ground. [7]

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References

  1. "Marseille arrests and match-fixing probe rock French football". France 24. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  2. "Presidents of two French clubs arrested on match-fixing suspicions". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  3. "Ligue 1 reduces relegation spots from three to two from next season". Espnfc.com. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  4. "Ligue 1 relegation places stay at three, uncertainty continues". Espnfc.com. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  5. "Le référé de la LFP rejeté". Le Figaro.fr (in French). 14 August 2015.
  6. "Ligue 1/Ligue 2 : il y aura bien trois rélégations/promotions". Leparisian.fr. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  7. "Chambly - Pas de Livraison Avant "Fin Août ou Début Septembre" pour le Nouveau Stade" (in French). maligue2.fr. 30 April 2020.