Football: the reform of the championships will have consequences for National 3 clubs

AS Cherbourg and FC Saint-Lô are affected by the probable reform of the championships. (©Nadine DJEBBAR)

The executive committee of the FFF plank on a championship reform, which must be voted on at the federal assembly in June. The announced reduction in the number of teams in National 2 and National 3 will affect all of amateur football.

This skimming could be smoothed over two years, in order to avoid having too many runs at the end of next season. But if the reform is adopted, there will inevitably be more relegations from N3 to R1 (4? 6? 8?) than this year (2 minimum).

The reform project

From the 2023-2024 season, the National 2 should have 3 groups instead of the current 4 (from 64 to 48 clubs). The National 3, divided today into 12 regional pools, will also be reduced. We are talking about 9, 8, 7 or 6 groups depending on the scenario, with interleague championships as was the case in CFA2 until 2016-2017. Finally, the creation of a Regional 1 Elite group is under study. This hen could then strongly resemble the current Norman N3.

The FFF wants to see “the level increase”

Which is not without worrying the coaches of the Manchoise teams.

It’s already complicated for us this season, but if we keep up, we’ll have to fight even harder next year. When you know the difficulty of this championship, imagine that whoever finishes 7th could be relegated…

Vincent HebertGeneral Manager of AS Cherbourg

For Matthieu Chevreau, coach of FC Saint-Lô, “This will have repercussions on the smallest clubs, those which are not structurally equipped to compete with the biggest”.

By tightening the N2 and N3 championships, the Federation hopes see “the general level increase”as pointed out by President Noel Le Graet.

Exit therefore the regional groups in N3, and return to interregional chickens as was the case until 2016-2017. “We took one step forward, only to take two steps back,” sums up Vincent Hébert.

Given the geographical location of Cherbourg, the regional championship suited us well. I don’t have enough hindsight to know if this reform is a good or a bad thing, but I tell myself that it is coming a little quickly, because we are just recovering from the consequences of the Covid.

Vincent HebertGeneral Manager of AS Cherbourg

Matthieu Chevreau: “It will cause damage”

Matthieu Chevreau also welcomes this project with a measured spirit.

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It’s true that the level of the N3 is far from that of the CFA2 before, so for the game it’s rather a good thing. But it will cause damage for many clubs … I am not against the reform, it can be understood, but it is a shame that it comes after only five seasons in the current formula, two of which are truncated.

Matthew ChevreauCoach of FC Saint-Lô

Go down to better go up?

Eleventh budget of N3, the “FC” will not be “not safe next season”, warns Matthieu Chevreau, for whom this restructuring will encourage clubs to “think about many things”.

According to Vincent Hébert, some could even “choose to go down this season to have more chances of going up to N3 afterwards…”

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