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Football news: Ligue 1 to reduce size by two clubs to 18 from start of 2023/24 season

Ligue 1 is to cut two teams from its competition in time for the start of 2023/24, taking the number to 18 clubs.

Four sides will be relegated at the end of the 2022/23 season, with only two promoted from Ligue 2, which will remain at 20 clubs for now, although organisers say that may change in the future.

The move brings France in line with the Bundesliga and is similar to what was being proposed by the much criticised ‘Project Big Picture’ by Premier League clubs Manchester United and Liverpool last year.

The change was overwhelmingly voted through at the league’s general assembly, with Metz the only opponents.

“It’s a very good decision which shows the unity of the players in French football,” said French professional league (LFP) president Vincent Labrune in a statement

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“Above all, it makes it possible to create the conditions for an ambitious reform plan for the future.”

The French top flight was previously made up of 18 teams before increasing to 20 in 2002.

The changes will now see teams in the division play four fewer matches over the course of a league season, dropping from 38 to 34.

This years saw Lille emerge as surprise champions after they edged out Paris Saint-Germain who had won seven of the last eight titles.

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