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.

Ligue 2
Ligue 2 logo.svg
Founded1933
CountryFrance
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams20
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toLigue 1
Relegation toChampionnat National
Domestic cup(s)Coupe de France
International cup(s)Europa League (via cups)
Current championsTroyes (2nd title)
(2020–21)
Most championshipsLe Havre
Nancy
(5 titles each)
TV partnersbeIN Sports
Téléfoot
WebsiteLigue2.fr (in French)
Current: 2021–22 Ligue 2
The Ligue 2 trophy

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.

HistoryEdit

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)
Season Winner
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 formatEdit

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-place finisher are also promoted to the first division. The fourth and fifth-place finishers play a one leg fixture at the fourth-place finisher's stadium, the winner of this fixture faces the third-place finisher at the third-place finisher's stadium, the winner of this fixture plays the 18th-placed team in Ligue 1 for the right to play in Ligue 1 the following season. 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 (2021–22 season)Edit

Club Finishing position last season Location Venue Capacity
Ajaccio 13th Ajaccio Stade François Coty 10,446
Amiens 10th Amiens Stade de la Licorne 12,097
Auxerre 6th Auxerre Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps 21,379
Bastia 1st in Championnat National (promoted) Furiani Stade Armand Cesari 16,078
Caen 17th Caen Stade Michel d'Ornano 21,215
Dijon 20th in Ligue 1 (relegated) Dijon Stade Gaston Gérard 15,995
Dunkerque 16th Dunkirk Stade Marcel-Tribut 4,200
Grenoble 4th Grenoble Stade des Alpes 20,068
Guingamp 9th Guingamp Stade de Roudourou 18,378
Le Havre 12th Le Havre Stade Océane 25,178
Nancy 8th Tomblaine Stade Marcel Picot 20,087
Nîmes 19th in Ligue 1 (relegated) Nîmes Stade des Costières 18,482
Niort 18th Niort Stade René Gaillard 10,886
Paris FC 5th Paris (13th arrondissement) Stade Charléty 20,000
Pau 14th Pau Stade du Hameau 13,819
Rodez 15th Rodez Stade Paul-Lignon 5,955
Quevilly-Rouen 2nd in Championnat National (promoted) Rouen Stade Robert Diochon 12,018
Sochaux 7th Montbéliard Stade Auguste Bonal 20,005
Toulouse 3rd Toulouse Stadium Municipal 33,150
Valenciennes 11th Valenciennes Stade du Hainaut 25,172

Previous winnersEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Winning years Runner-up years
Le Havre 5 1 1937–38, 1958–59, 1984–85, 1990–91, 2007–08 1949–50
Nancy 5 1 1974–75, 1989–90, 1997–98, 2004–05, 2015–16 1969–70
Lens 4 2 1936–37, 1948–49, 1972–73, 2008–09 2013–14, 2019–20
Nice 4 1 1947–48, 1964–65, 1969–70, 1993–94 1984–85
Lille 4 1 1963–64, 1973–74, 1977–78, 1999–2000 1970–71
Metz 4 3 1934–35, 2006–07, 2013–14, 2018–19 1950–51, 1960–61, 1966–67
Montpellier 3 3 1945–46, 1960–61, 1986–87 1951–52, 1980–81, 2008–09
Saint-Étienne 3 3 1962–63, 1998–99, 2003–04 1933–34, 1937–38, 1985–86
Strasbourg 3 2 1976–77, 1987–88, 2016–17 1971–72, 2001–02
Lyon 3 1950–51, 1953–54, 1988–89
Rennes 2 5 1955–56, 1982–83 1938–39, 1957–58, 1975–76, 1989–90, 1993–94
Valenciennes 2 5 1971–72, 2005–06 1934–35, 1936–37, 1961–62, 1974–75, 1991–92
Red Star 2 3 1933–34, 1938–39 1954–55, 1964–65, 1973–74
Angers 2 3 1968–69, 1975–76 1955–56, 1977–78, 1992–93
Sochaux 2 2 1946–47, 2000–01 1963–64, 1987–88
Caen 2 2 1995–96, 2009–10 2003–04, 2006–07
Troyes 2 2 2014–15, 2020–21 1953–54, 1972–73
Alès 2 1 1933–34, 1956–57 1946–47
FC Nancy 2 1 1945–46, 1957–58 1959–60
Reims 2 1 1965–66, 2017–18 2011–12
Ajaccio 2 1 1966–67, 2001–02 2010–11
Toulouse 2 1 1981–82, 2002–03 1996–97
Grenoble 2 1959–60, 1961–62
Bastia 2 1967–68, 2011–12
Nîmes 1 3 1949–50 1967–68, 1990–91, 2017–18
Sedan 1 3 1954–55 1971–72, 1998–99, 2005–06
Brest 1 3 1980–81 1978–79, 2009–10, 2018–19
Marseille 1 3 1994–95 1965–66, 1983–84, 1995–96
Monaco 1 3 2012–13 1952–53, 1970–71, 1976–77
Rouen 1 2 1935–36 1933–34, 1981–82
Stade Français 1 2 1951–52 1945–46, 1958–59
Lorient 1 2 2019–20 1997–98, 2000–01
Toulouse (1937) 1 1 1952–53 1945–46
Tours 1 1 1983–84 1979–80
Bordeaux 1 1 1991–92 1948–49
Paris Saint-Germain 1 1970–71
Gueugnon 1 1978–79
Auxerre 1 1979–80
RCF Paris 1 1985–86
Martigues 1 1992–93
Châteauroux 1 1996–97
Evian 1 2010–11

Notes:

Top goalscorersEdit

Season Goals Top Scorer(s) Club(s)
1933–34 54 goals Jean Nicolas Rouen
1934–35 30 goals Jean Nicolas Rouen
1935–36 45 goals Jean Nicolas Rouen
1936–37 30 goals Viktor Spechtl Lens
1937–38 29 goals Hugo Lammana CA Paris
1938–39 39 goals Harold Newell & Planques Boulogne & Toulouse FC (1937)
1939–45 World War II
1945–46 27 goals Campiglia Angers
1946–47 45 goals Jozef "Pépé" Humpal Sochaux
1947–48 28 goals Henri Arnaudeau Bordeaux
1948–49 41 goals Camille Libar Bordeaux
1949–50 27 goals Edmund Haan Nîmes
1950–51 23 goals Thadée Cisowski Metz
1951–52 34 goals Egon Johnsson Stade Français
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
1955–56 32 goals Petrus Van Rhijn Valenciennes
1956–57 27 goals Fernand Devlaeminck Lille
1957–58 29 goals Egon Johnsson FC Nancy
1958–59 31 goals Petrus Van Rhijn Stade Français
1959–60 29 goals Corbel Rouen
1960–61 28 goals Casimir Kozakiewicz Strasbourg
1961–62 21 goals Serge Masnaghetti Valenciennes
1962–63 24 goals Ernesto Gianella Béziers
1963–64 21 goals Abderrahmane Soukhane Le Havre
1964–65 22 goals Anton Groschulski Red Star
1965–66 30 goals Pierre Ferrazzi Grenoble
1966–67 23 goals Etienne Sansonetti Bastia
1967–68 26 goals Jacques Bonnet Avignon
1968–69 55 goals Gérard Grizetti 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
Boulogne
Limoges
Monaco
1971–72 20 goals
28 goals
40 goals
Gr. A: Pierre Pleimelding
Gr. B: Yegba Maya Joseph
Gr. C: Marc Molitor
Troyes
Valenciennes
Strasbourg
1972–73 22 goals
31 goals
Gr. A: Eugeniusz Faber
Gr. B: Gérard Tonnel
Lens
Troyes
1973–74 26 goals
24 goals
Gr. A: Erwin Wilczek
Gr. B: Nestor Combin
Valenciennes
Red Star
1974–75 25 goals
28 goals
Gr. A: Georges Tripp
Gr. B: Jean Martinez
Laval
Nancy
1975–76 22 goals
25 goals
Gr. A: Boško Antić
Gr. B: Marc Berdoll
Caen
Angers
1976–77 30 goals
24 goals
Gr. A: Delio Onnis
Gr. B: Albert Gemmrich
Monaco
Strasbourg
1977–78 19 goals
23 goals
 
Gr. A: Giudicelli
Gr. B: Jean-Claude Garnier
Gr. B: Pierre-Antoine Dossevi
Alès
Dunkerque
Tours
1978–79 24 goals
26 goals
Gr. A: Antoine Trivino
Gr. B: Patrice Martet
Gueugnon
Brest
1979–80 16 goals
19 goals
 
Gr. A: Alain Polaniok
Gr. A: Bernard Ferrigno
Gr. B: Jacky Vergnes
Gr. B: Robert Pintenat
Reims
Tours
Montpellier
Toulouse
1980–81 32 goals
22 goals
Gr. A: Robert Pintenat
Gr. B: Marcel Campagnac
Toulouse
Sporting Club Abbeville
1981–82 18 goals
25 goals
 
Gr. A: Marc Pascal
Gr. B: Zarko Olaveric
Gr. B: Isiaka Ouattara
Marseille
Le Havre
Mulhouse
1982–83 28 goals
18 goals
Gr. A: Wlodzimierz Lubanski
Gr. B: Christian Dalger
Valenciennes
Toulon
1983–84 23 goals
23 goals
Gr. A: Mario Relmy
Gr. B: Omar Da Fonseca
Limoges
Tours
1984–85 27 goals
28 goals
Gr. A: John Eriksen
Gr. B: Jorge Dominguez
Mulhouse
Nice
1985–86 22 goals
29 goals
Gr. A: Jean-Marc Valadier
Gr. B: Eugene N'Goy Kabongo
Montpellier
RC Paris
1986–87 22 goals
21 goals
Gr. A: Zvonko Kurbos
Gr. B: Gaspard N'Gouete
Mulhouse
Bastia
1987–88 18 goals
 
26 goals
Gr. A: Jean-Pierre Orts
Gr. A: Stéphane Paille
Gr. B: Patrice Martet
Lyon
Sochaux
Rouen
1988–89 22 goals
27 goals
Gr. A: Roberto Cabanas
Gr. B: Robby Langers
Brest
Orléans
1989–90 26 goals
21 goals
Gr. A: Didier Monczuk
Gr. B: Jean-Pierre Orts
Strasbourg
Rouen
1990–91 23 goals
19 goals
Gr. A: Didier Monczuk
Gr. B: Christophe Lagrange
Strasbourg
Angers
1991–92 22 goals
21 goals
Gr. A: Jean-Pierre Orts
Gr. B: Didier Monczuk
Rouen
Strasbourg
1992–93 21 goals
18 goals
Gr. A: Franck Priou
Gr. B: Jean-Pierre Orts
Cannes
Rouen
1993–94 27 goals Yannick Le Saux Stade Briochin
1994–95 31 goals Tony Cascarino Marseille
1995–96 30 goals Tony Cascarino Marseille
1996–97 23 goals Samuel Michel Sochaux
1997–98 20 goals Reginald Ray Le Mans
1998–99 20 goals Hamed Diallo Laval
1999–2000 17 goals Amara Traoré Gueugnon
2000–01 21 goals Francileudo Santos Sochaux
2001–02 18 goals Hamed Diallo Amiens
2002–03 20 goals Cédric Fauré Toulouse
2003–04 17 goals David Suarez Amiens
2004–05 24 goals Bakari Koné Lorient
2005–06 16 goals Jean-Michel Lesage & Steve Savidan Le Havre & Valenciennes
2006–07 18 goals Jean-Michel Lesage & Kandia Traore Le Havre & Le Havre
2007–08 28 goals Guillaume Hoarau Le Havre
2008–09 18 goals Grégory Thil Boulogne
2009–10 21 goals Olivier Giroud Tours
2010–11 23 goals Sebastián Ribas Dijon
2011–12 15 goals Cédric Fauré Reims
2012–13 23 goals Mustapha Yatabaré Guingamp
2013–14 23 goals Andy Delort & Mathieu Duhamel Tours & Caen
2014–15 18 goals Mickaël Le Bihan Le Havre
2015–16 21 goals Famara Diedhiou Clermont
2016–17 23 goals Adama Niane Troyes
2017–18 24 goals Umut Bozok Nîmes
2018–19 27 goals Gaëtan Charbonnier Brest
2019–20 20 goals Tino Kadewere Le Havre
2020–21 22 goals Mohamed Bayo Clermont

RecordsEdit

  • 11 minutes: the time it took Sebastian Ribas (Dijon FCO, 2010–11 season) 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 achieving promotion to Ligue 1:
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.

BroadcasterEdit

FranceEdit

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

InternationalEdit

Sponsorship namesEdit

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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.

External linksEdit