Stade Rennais F.C.
Stade Rennais Football Club referred to as Stade Rennais, SRFC or Rennes, is a French association football club based in Rennes. The club was founded in 1901 and plays in Ligue 1, the top tier of French football. Rennes plays; the team is managed by Julien Stéphan. The team's president is Olivier Létang and its owner is Artémis, the holding company of businessman François Pinault. Rennes was founded in 1901 under the name Stade Rennais and is one of the founding members of the first division of French football. Alongside Nantes, Rennes is one of the top football clubs in the region and the two are among the main clubs that contest the Derby Breton; the club's best finish in the league has been fourth with the club accomplishing this feat on four occasions, most in 2006–07. Rennes has won two Coupe de France titles in 1965 and 1971. After winning the Coupe de France in 1971, Rennes changed its name to its current version. Rennes is known for its youth academy, known in English as the Henri Guérin Training Centre, formed in 2000.
The French Football Federation has recognised Rennes as having the best youth academy in the country in 2010. The cornerstone of the academy is the under-19 team, which has won the Coupe Gambardella three times in 1973, 2003 and 2008; the academy has produced several notable talents, such as Sylvain Wiltord, Yoann Gourcuff, Yann M'Vila, Moussa Sow, Yacine Brahimi, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Ousmane Dembélé and Jimmy Briand, among others. Stade Rennais Football Club was founded on 10 March 1901 by a group of former students living in Brittany. Football had become circulated in nearby regions and it was soon brought to Brittany; the club's first match was played two weeks against FC Rennais, which Stade lost 6–0. In 1902, Stade Rennais joined the USFSA federation and, became a founding member of the Ligue de Bretagne de football, a newly created regional league founded by the federation. In the second league season, the club won the competition after defeating the inaugural league winners FC Rennais 4–0 in the final.
On 4 May 1904, Stade Rennais merged with its rivals FC Rennais to form Stade Rennais Université Club, with the primary objective being to overcome the recent domination of the Ligue de Bretagne by US Saint-Malo known as US Saint-Servan, which fielded British players. The new club adopted the colours of Rennais, which consisted of a red and black combination with black vertical stripes on the shirt. After three years of Saint-Malo dominating the league, Rennes eclipsed the club in 1908 under the leadership of Welsh manager Arthur Griffith. In the following season, Rennes won the league again, but in 1910 Rennes was unable to win a third, as Saint-Malo won the league by two points; the champions subsequently went on an impressive run in which it won the league for the next four seasons over. After World War I, Rennes began focusing its efforts on winning the created Coupe de France. Strengthened by the arrivals of internationals Bernard Lenoble, Maurice Gastiger, Ernest Molles and captain François Hugues after the war, in the competition's fourth campaign, Rennes reached the final.
In the match, the club faced two-time defending champions Red Star Olympique, led by attacker Paul Nicolas, defender Lucien Gamblin and goalkeeper Pierre Chayriguès. Red Star opened the scoring in the fourth minute and the match was concluded following a late goal from Raymond Sentubéry. After the disorganisation of the USFSA in 1913, Rennes joined the Ligue de l'Ouest. In 1929, Rennes departed the league after disagreeing with the increased number of games the league sought to implement in the new season; the departure led to Rennes becoming a "free agent", the club played numerous friendly matches to compensate the loss of league matches. In July 1930, the National Council of the French Football Federation voted 128–20 in support of professionalism in French football. Under the leadership of club president Isidore Odorico, Rennes was among the first clubs to adopt the new statute and, became professional and became founding members of the new league. In the league's inaugural season, Rennes finished mid-table in its group.
Two years in 1935, the club reached the final of the Coupe de France for the second time. Rennes, lost to Marseille 3–0 after failing to overcome three first-half goals; the club's attack was limited in the match due to being deprived of its top two attackers, Walter Kaiser and Walter Vollweiler, who were both injured. Rennes spent four more years in the first division before suffering relegation to Division 2 in the 1936–37 season. Rennes played in Division 2 before professionalism was abolished due to World War II. After the war, Rennes returned to Division 1. Led by the Austrian-born Frenchman Franz Pleyer, Rennes achieved its best finish in the league after finishing fourth in the 1948–49 campaign. Despite the domestic resurgence under Pleyer, the club struggled to maintain the consistency and, in the 1950s, rotated between the first division and the second division under the watch of the Spaniard Salvador Artigas and Henri Guérin, who acted in a player-coach role. Under the leadership of new president Louis Girard, Rennes underwent a major upheaval, which included renovations to the stadium.
Girard sought to make Rennes competitive nationally and the first objective was achieved when the club earned promotion back to Division 1 in 1958. After finishing in the bottom-half of the table for six-straight seasons, now managed by former club player Jean Prouff, finished in fourth place in the 1964–65 season. In the same season, the club earned its first major h
Racing Club de Lens, is a French football club based in the northern city of Lens in the Pas-de-Calais department. Its nickname, comes from its traditional colours of red and gold, their primary rivals are their northern neighbours Lille, with. The club's origins date back to 1906 in Lens and lie with students playing football on the Place Verte; the name "Racing Club de Lens" was a reference to Racing Club de Roubaix and Racing Club de France, both popular at the time. The club's first board of directors was formed by the parents of those students under the name of Racing Club de Lens in 1906; the club played in green and black to represent the founding location. They wore green to represent the name, "Verte", which means green in French, black to represent the omnipresence of coal mines in the surrounding area. Between 1907 and 1912, the players were forced to change sports grounds twice before settling at the actual Parc des Glissoires, between Avion and Lens. During World War I, the club's activities were stopped, only restarting in 1919.
Lens was playing in sky blue. It was in 1924 that the gold colours appeared; the legend says that Pierre Moglia, president of the club from 1923 to 1930, chose the colours of the Spanish flag after someone from the club remarked that the Saint-Léger church ruins they walked by that night were the last remains of the Spanish domination in 1648. People say that the colours come from the coal mines: the red for the blood of the miners and the gold for the coal, valuable at the time, it was in 1924 that the club was authorised to play at the newly built municipal stadium Raoul Briquet. The first match with the new colours was played for the inauguration of the stadium. In 1926, British footballer Kid Fenton was the first star who played for Lens, staying for eight seasons, it was the year the first supporters group was formed, – – Lens first capture of the Championnat d'Artois. In 1929, Lens won the North championship and won promotion for the first time to the Division d'Honneur of the Ligue du Nord with the clubs Olympique Lillois, RC Roubaix, Excelsior Athlétic Club de Roubaix and AC Amiens.
In the Artois League, the club gained prestige, in 1932, the club inaugurated the Stade Félix Bollaert. In 1937, Lens gained access to the first division after finishing first in the second division, led by such players as Stefan Dembicki and Spechtl. Lens managed to reach the last 16 of the Coupe de France, although the team was eliminated by the Red Star, 3–2. In 1943, Lens won the first division of the Northern Zone thanks to Dembicki, who scored 43 goals in 30 games. A year earlier, in a Coupe de France match, he scored 17 goals, still the world record today. After World War II, Lens finished in sixth place in the 1945–46 season, but they were relegated the following year. In 1948, the club played its first Coupe de France final. A year Lens was promoted to the first division, Maryan Wisnieski was recruited, in 1953. Problems with the board, made him quit the club. In 1962, the city of Lens' mines were shut down and the club was at stake given that most of the players were miners. Between 1956 and 1968, survival was hard.
In 1964, Lens finished third, with Ahmed Oudjani the top scorer with 30 goals. Another famous player, Georges Lech, joined Lens, although the club was relegated in 1968; the following year, the mine's administrators rescinded their ownership of Lens, it was the end of professional football at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. Lens was once again one year after its relegation. Better days arrived in 1960 after the town council bet on the Racing Club de Lens. Lens's mayor, André Delelis, wanted to see the club continue thrilling the fans. With the future president, Jean Bondoux, the mayor brought together volunteers and subscriptions to make the club survive. Moreover, the city recovered the stadium from the closing mine industry. In 1972, Lens reached the semi-finals of the Coupe de France, the arrival of two Polish players helped the club to the first division. In 1975, Lens once again reached the final of the Coupe de France against Saint-Étienne, but les Verts won the game 2–0, with an anthology goal by Jean-Michel Larqué.
As finalist of the Coupe de France, Lens had the opportunity to participate in its first UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, but the team was knocked out by the Dutch club ADO Den Haag. Lens' progress continued, after finishing second in the league behind Nantes, they managed to qualify to the UEFA Cup, they knocked out Malmö FF, above all, the Lazio. After an away defeat, they won 6–0 at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis after extra-time. After this rare exploit for a French club, they were eliminated by East German side 1. FC Magdeburg. Worse, the club went back to the second division in 1978; the return among the elite was in 1979 with Roger Lemerre as head coach. During the 1980s, Gérard Houllier and Joachim Marx succeeded him; these were great gains to the team though the club lost players such as Didier Sénac, Gaëtan Huard and Philippe Vercruysse. In 1988, a local businessman took over the club, with the help of Serge Doré. During the same year, Arnaud Dos Santos was named head coach of the club, led the club back to the first division in 1991.
In 1993 and 1994, Lens played in the top of the league, the team qualified for the UEFA Cup twice in a row. Lens reached the semi-final of the Coupe de France after knocking out Pari
Association Sportive de Saint-Étienne Loire is a French association football club based in Saint-Étienne. The club was founded in 1919 and plays in Ligue 1, the top division of French football. Saint-Étienne plays; the team is managed by Jean-Louis Gasset and captained by Loïc Perrin, who started his career at the club in 1996. Saint-Étienne is known as Les Verts meaning "the Greens" due to its home colours. Saint-Étienne have won a record ten Ligue 1 titles, as well as six Coupe de France titles, a Coupe de la Ligue title and five Trophée des Champions. Saint-Étienne has won the Ligue 2 championship on three occasions; the club achieved most of its honours in the 1960s and 1970s when the club was led by managers Jean Snella, Albert Batteux, Robert Herbin. The club's primary rivals are Olympique Lyonnais, based in nearby Lyon, with whom they contest the Derby Rhône-Alpes. In 2009, the club added a female section. AS Saint-Étienne was founded in 1919 by employees of the Saint-Étienne-based grocery store chain Groupe Casino under the name Amicale des Employés de la Société des Magasins Casino.
The club adopted green as its primary color due to it being the principal colour of Groupe Casino. In 1920, due to the French Football Federation prohibiting the use of trademarks in sports club, the club dropped "Casino" from its name and changed its name to Amical Sporting Club to retain the ASC acronym. In 1927, Pierre Guichard took over as president of the club and, after merging with local club Stade Forézien Universitaire, changed its name to Association sportive Stéphanoise. In July 1930, the National Council of the FFF voted 128–20 in support of professionalism in French football. In 1933, Stéphanoise changed its name to its current version; the club was inserted into the second division and became inaugural members of the league after finishing runner-up in the South Group. Saint-Étienne remained in Division 2 for four more seasons before earning promotion to Division 1 for the 1938–39 season under the leadership of the Englishman Teddy Duckworth. However, the team's debut appearance in the first division was short-lived due to the onset of World War II.
Saint-Étienne returned to the first division after the war under the Austrian-born Frenchman Ignace Tax and surprised many by finishing runner-up to Lille in the first season after the war. The club failed to improve upon that finish in following seasons under Tax and, ahead of the 1950–51 season, Tax was let go and replaced by former Saint-Étienne player Jean Snella. Under Snella, Saint-Étienne achieved its first honour after winning the Coupe Charles Drago in 1955. Two seasons the club won its first domestic league title. Led by goalkeeper Claude Abbes, defender Robert Herbin, as well as midfielders René Ferrier and Kees Rijvers and striker Georges Peyroche, Saint-Étienne won the league by four points over Lens. In 1958, Saint-Étienne won the Coupe Drago for the second time. After the following season, in which the club finished sixth, Snella departed the club, he was replaced by René Vernier. In the team's first season under Vernier, Saint-Étienne finished 12th, the club's worst finish since finishing 11th eight seasons ago.
In the following season, François Wicart joined the coaching staff. In 1961, Roger Rocher became president of the club and became one of the club's chief investors. After two seasons under Wicart, Saint-Étienne were relegated after finishing 17th in the 1961–62 season. However, Wicart did lead the club to its first Coupe de France title in 1962, alongside co-manager Henri Guérin with the team defeating FC Nancy 1–0 in the final, he led the club back to Division 1 after one season in the second division, but after the season, Wicart was replaced by Snella, who returned as manager after a successful stint in Switzerland with Servette. In Snella's first season back, Saint-Étienne won its second league title and, three seasons captured its third. Snella's third and final title with the club coincided with the arrival of Georges Bereta, Bernard Bosquier, Gérard Farison and Hervé Revelli to the team. After the season, Snella returned to Servette and former Stade de Reims manager Albert Batteux replaced him.
In Batteux's first season in 1967–68, Saint-Étienne captured the double after winning the league and the Coupe de France. In the next season, Batteux won the league and, in the ensuing season, won the double again; the club's fast rise into French football led to a high-level of confidence from the club's ownership and supporters and, following two seasons without a trophy, Batteux was let go and replaced by former Saint-Étienne player Robert Herbin. In Herbin's first season in charge, Saint-Étienne finished fourth in the league and reached the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. In the next two seasons, the club won the double, its seventh and eighth career league title and its third and fourth Coupe de France title. In 1976, Saint-Étienne became the first French club since Reims in 1959 to reach the final of the European Cup. In the match, played at Hampden Park in Scotland, Saint-Étienne faced German club Bayern Munich, who were the reigning champions and arguably the world's best team at the time.
The match was hotly contested with Saint-Étienne failing to score after numerous chances by Jacques Santini, Dominique Bathenay and Osvaldo Piazza, among others. A single goal by Franz Roth decided the outcome and Saint-Étienne supporters departed Scotland in tears, not without nicknaming the goalposts "les poteaux carrés". Saint-Étienne did earn a consolation prize by winning
1967–68 European Cup Winners' Cup
The 1967–68 season of the European Cup Winners' Cup club football tournament was won by Milan following their final victory against Hamburg, the fourth West German finalist in four years. Milan won 6–2 on aggregate. Aberdeen won 14–1 on aggregate. Valencia won 8–2 on aggregate. Tottenham Hotspur won 6–3 on aggregate. Cardiff City won 3–1 on aggregate. 3–3 on aggregate. Milan won on away goals. 2–2 on aggregate. Hamburg won play-off 2–0. Cardiff City won play-off 1–0. Milan won 2–0 on aggregate. Hamburg won 4–3 on aggregate. 1967–68 European Cup 1967–68 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1967-68 competition at UEFA website Cup Winners' Cup results at Rec. Sport. Soccer Statistics Foundation Cup Winners Cup Seasons 1967-68 – results, protocols website Football Archive 1967–68 Cup Winners Cup
Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard is a French association football club based in the city of Montbéliard. The club was founded in 1928 and plays in Ligue 2, the second tier of French football, after having finished 18th and being relegated from Ligue 1 in the 2013–14 season. Sochaux plays. Sochaux was founded by Jean-Pierre Peugeot, a prominent member of the Peugeot family, is one of the founding members of the first division of French football; the club has won both Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France twice and have won the Coupe de la Ligue. Sochaux's last honour came in 2007 when the club, under the guidance of Alain Perrin, defeated favourites Marseille 5–4 on penalties in the 2007 Coupe de France Final. Sochaux's colours are navy blue. Sochaux is known for its youth academy, which has finished in the top ten rankings of youth academies in France; the most successful team in the academy is the under-19 team, which has won the Coupe Gambardella twice, in 1973 and 2007. In 2010, Sochaux finished runners-up to Metz in the 2010 edition of the competition.
The academy has produced several notable talents, such as Yannick Stopyra, El-Hadji Diouf, Jérémy Ménez, Bernard Genghini and Benoît Pedretti, among others. Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard was founded in 1928 under the name Football Club Sochaux by Jean-Pierre Peugeot, a director of Peugeot, a French car manufacturing company. Peugeot sought to create a football club for the leisure time of the company's workers, he installed Louis Maillard-Salin as the club's first president, made Maurice Bailly the club's first manager. Bailly was a member of the team. Sochaux played its first match on 2 September 1928 against the reserve team of local club AS Montbéliard; the club was inserted into the lowest level of league football in the Franche-Comté region and played its first league match three weeks winning 12–1. Peugeot was among the first to advocate for the professionalisation of French football and, in 1929, went as far as to admit to paying his players, forbidden during this time; the subsequent recruitment of several French internationals and players from abroad led to Sochaux gaining a stranglehold on the region disposing of local rivals AS Montbéliard and AS Valentigney.
In June 1930, Montbéliard decided to merge with Sochaux to form the club. The following month, the National Council of the French Football Federation voted 128–20 in support of professionalism in French football. With Peugeot being a strong advocate for professionalism, Sochaux were among the first clubs to adopt the new statute and, became professional. In the league's inaugural season, Sochaux finished 3rd in its group; the club's final position was moved to 2nd after Antibes, the champions of the group, was disqualified from the league for suspected bribery. In the 1934–35 season, Sochaux captured its first league title finishing one point ahead of Strasbourg. Led by Uruguayan manager Conrad Ross, as well as captain Étienne Mattler, known as Le Lion de Belfort, strikers Roger Courtois and Bernard Williams, Sochaux dominated the league losing only four times. Two seasons the same team, with the addition of goalkeeper Laurent Di Lorto and the Swiss duo of André Abegglen and Maxime Lehmann, Sochaux won its first Coupe de France title.
The club faced league rivals Strasbourg in the final and defeated the Alsatians 2–1 courtesy of goals from Williams and the Argentine Miguel Angel Lauri. Ross finished his career at Sochaux by winning another league title in 1938. After the 1938–39 season and several players departed the club to play and manage abroad due to the onset of World War II; the non-deserters were, called into action to fight with the French Army, which caused the club to limit its aspiring ambitions. During war-time, in an effort to survive financially, Sochaux formed an interim merger with local rivals AS Valentigney; the club, known as FC Sochaux-Valentigney, participated in the war-time championships from 1942–1944. Following the conclusion of the war, Sochaux dissolved the merger, turn professional again, returned to its original name; the club, failed to get back to its form prior to the war and, made the decision to forgo entering bidding wars for players, becoming the norm and, focus on keeping the team's budget even.
As a result, in the first season after the war, Sochaux suffered relegation after finishing in last place with only 15 points. Sochaux spent only one season in the second division and returned to Division 1 for the 1947–48 season; the club spent the next 13 seasons playing in Division 1 with its best finish coming during the 1952–53 season when the club finished runner-up to champions Stade Reims. In the same season, Sochaux won its first honour since 1938 after winning the Coupe Charles Drago. In 1959, the club returned to the Coupe de France final, the outcome was not in Sochaux's favour, with the club losing 3-0 to Le Havre in a replay after a 2–2 draw. In the early 1960s, despite playing in Division 2, Sochaux won the Coupe Drago in back-to-back seasons; the club made its return to Division 1 in 1964, remained in the league for over 20 years finishing in the top ten before falling down to Division 2 in the 1987–88 season. During Sochaux's 24-year run in the first division, the club played in European competitions four times.
In the 1980–81 season, Sochaux surprised many by reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. In the round, the club was defeated by Dutch club AZ 4–3 on aggregate; the club's successful play during this stint was predomina
Olympique de Marseille
Olympique de Marseille known as OM or Marseille, is a French football club in Marseille. Founded in 1899, the club play in Ligue 1 and have spent most of their history in the top tier of French football; the club has won ten Coupes de France and three Coupes de la Ligue. In 1993, coach Raymond Goethals led the team to become the first and only French club to win the UEFA Champions League, defeating AC Milan 1–0 in the final. In 2010, Marseille won its first Ligue 1 title in 18 years under the managing of former club captain Didier Deschamps. Marseille's home ground is the 67,000-capacity Stade Vélodrome in the southern part of the city, where they have played since 1937; the club has a large fan-base, having averaged the highest attendance in French football. Marseille's average home gate for the 2008–09 season was 52,276, the highest in Ligue 1; the stadium underwent renovation in 2011, going from its previous capacity of 60,031 to 42,000. Following completion in August 2014, the final capacity increased to 67,000 ahead of France's hosting of UEFA Euro 2016.
In 2015, the club was ranked generating € 130.5 million. In 1997, Marseille was purchased by Franco-Swiss businessman Robert Louis-Dreyfus. Following his death in 2009, his widow Margarita became the club's majority shareholder in 2010. In 2016, American businessman Frank McCourt bought the club from her, appointed businessman Jacques-Henri Eyraud as the club president, with Rudi Garcia appointed as the manager of the club's first team. Olympique de Marseille was founded as an omnisport club in 1892 by René Dufaure de Montmirail, a French sports official. Known as Sporting Club, US Phocéenne and Football Club de Marseille in the first five years after its foundation, the club adopted the name Olympique de Marseille in 1899 in honour of the anniversary of Marseille's founding by Greeks from Phocaea some 25 centuries earlier, with the name Olympique, coming from ancient Olympic Games. At first, rugby union was the most important team sport of the club, the motto Droit au but coming from rugby.
Affiliated with the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques since 1898, it was only in 1902, thanks to English and German people, that football began to be played by Olympique de Marseille. Richer and better organised than other football teams of Marseille, Olympique de Marseille playing at the Stade de l'Huveaune, took the leadership in the city. In 1904, Olympique de Marseille won the first Championnat du Littoral, involving opposing teams from Marseille and its suburbs, took part in the final rounds of the 11th French championship. At that time, the word "football" applied to rugby, people used the word "Association" for football. During the 1920s, Olympique de Marseille became an important team in France, winning the Coupe de France in 1924, 1926 and 1927; the team won the French championship in 1929. The Coupe de France in 1924 was the club's first major title, won against FC Sète, a side that dominated French football at the time. In the'20s, numerous French internationals, such as Jules Dewaquez, Jean Boyer or Joseph Alcazar, played for Marseille.
In 1930, Marseille lost in the semi-final round. In 1931, the team became champion of the South-East, with victories against rivals such as Sète. In the Coupe de France, l'OM lost in five matches to Club français, winning the second match, cancelled due to the disqualification of Marseille striker Vernicke. Though the 1931–32 season was less successful, Marseille entered the professional ranks, becoming a member of the union of professional clubs in 1932. On 13 January 1932 at 9:15 pm, at the Brasserie des Sports, Mr. Dard, Mr. Bison, Dr. Rollenstein, Mr. Etchepare, Mr. Leblanc, Mr. Mille, Mr. Anfosso, Mr. Sabatier, Mr. Seze, Mr. Bazat, Mr. Molteroj and Mr. Pollack elected the following committee: Honorary presidents: Paul Le Cesne et Fernand Bouisson President: M. Dard Vice-Presidents: Mr. Leblanc, Mr. Bison, Mr. Etchepare, Dr. Rollenstein et Mr. Anfosso general secretary: Mr. Possel-Daydier Treasurer: Mr Bison. For the first championship, Division 1 was divided into two pools. Marseille finished second behind Lille.
For its first match of the championship, Marseille defeated Lille. In 1937, Marseille won its first professional French championship thanks to goal difference; the arrival of Vasconcellos made the defence stronger, whereas former goalkeeper Laurent Di Lorto shone with Sochaux and France. In the meantime, Marseille won the Coupe de France in 1935 and 1938 but failed a double success in 1934, due to FC Sète. In 1938, Larbi Ben Barek became "the black pearl" for the team. World War II would cut his career short; the 1942–43 season was full of records: 100 goals in 30 matches, including 20 in one match, in which Aznar scored nine goals, including the first eight, playing only 70 minutes. Aznar scored 11 in cup games, for a record of 56 goals in 38 matches. With the minots of the moment, Marseille won. In 1948, thanks to a draw against Sochaux, Marseille became the champions of France; the two last victories at the Stade Vélodrome against Roubaix and Metz were important, as Aznar and Robin's returned in spring.
In 1952, Marseille were about to be rel
Ligue 2 known as Domino's Ligue 2 due to sponsorship by Domino's Pizza, 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, 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 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 suspended the last weekend before Christmas for two weeks before returning in the second week of January. 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 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. 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, 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. 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 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. 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 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 beneficial for each club. There are 20 clubs in Ligue 2. During the course of a season 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 one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points goal difference, 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 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 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 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, that decision was overturned by an appeal to the Conseil d'État and the French Football Federation. 11 minutes: the time it took Sebastian Ribas to score the fastest hat trick in the history of Ligue 2. 5 times: the number of times Le Havre AC won the second division championship. Number of points won by a team in a single season, without being able to promote to the Ligue 1:77 points or 1.833 points per game for Toulouse FC. 72 points: or 1.71 points per game for Stade Lavallois. 69 points: or 1.82 points per game for Amiens SC.128 goals: The number of goals scored in 40 games by SCO Angers in 40 games. 55 goals: the number of goals scored in a season by Gerard Grizzetti, forward playing for AS Angoulême. 41 seasons: Number of seasons played by the RCFC Besançon and AS Cannes. The fastest goal in the history of Ligue 2 was marked on 26 September 2009 by Remi Nantais Maréval against Nîmes Olympique.
After eight seconds of play, the ball crossed the goal lin