'PSG and Marseille formed an alliance to eliminate Lyon' - Houllier claims Ligue 1 giants influenced French government

Former Liverpool manager Gerard HoullierGetty

Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has caused a stir in France, claiming Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille united to influence the French government into having the Ligue 1 season stopped.

Lyon were among the biggest losers from the decision to stop the French season, missing out on European qualification for the first time since 1997 after finishing in seventh.

Now, Houllier has claimed he believes PSG and Marseille – who finished first and second respectively – worked together to make sure the season wouldn’t be finished.

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"There is an axis between OM and PSG and it hit hard,” Houllier, who is now an advisor to Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas, told OLTV.

“There was an alliance made with arrangements between friends and I think above all it was a plot, a plan to eliminate Lyon.

“It will be covered up because I think the French state is involved. I followed all the press conferences by [President] Emmanuel Macron and [Prime Minister] Edouard Philippe, and they never talked about sport.

“And just by chance, at the end, it’s said that Ligue 1 will not be able to resume. It was the first time they talked about sports. I found it a bit weird.”

The final Ligue 1 table was calculated using points per game, though 18 of the 20 teams had played the same number of games anyway. Only PSG and Strasbourg had played one fewer.

However, Houllier does not think this was fair, with each team in the division having played different fixtures and having different fixtures still to play.

According to him, if the season had to be ended, it should have been voided entirely.

“I found this very unfair,” he added.

“A championship does not stop on the third, 19th or 28th day. We go to the end, otherwise we consider it to be null and void.”

Lyon owner Aulas hasn’t held back in his own criticism since the decision was made, saying Ligue 1 was “robbing” his side.

He has also admitted he now fears losing star players like Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele to sides able to offer Champions League football.