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PSG keen to trial safe standing in Ligue 1 next season - source

PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain are among the candidates to test safe standing in France next season, a source close to the club has told ESPN FC.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) recently confirmed they will experiment with standing areas in French stadiums from the start of next campaign.

According to the source, PSG are keen on the idea of being part of the tests as a way to combat the amount of money being wasted on replacing broken seats at Parc des Princes.

Since the return of the Ultras to Les Parisiens' spiritual home back in 2016, between 3,000-4,000 seats have been broken at the Auteuil end of the stadium. Per the source, each seat costs the best part of €50, making that in excess of €100,000 that has already been spent replacing items that are continuously broken.

However, one potential sticking point is the fact that UEFA's Champions League competition requires all-seater stadiums. This would mean regular removal and replacement of the seats between continental and domestic matches.

PSG's latest punishment for supporter-related incidents illustrates why the club are open to such a possibility. The Ligue 1 champions were fined €15,000 by the Federation Francaise de Football (FFF) for pyrotechnics and hit with a partial closure of Parc des Princes' Paris stand, as well as a suspended sentence on that closure, as a result of fan behaviour during February's 3-0 Coupe de France quarterfinal win over bitter rivals Marseille.

OM have also been punished for their supporters' role and, more severely, hit with a €30,000 fine, as well as full reimbursement of damaged seats and toilets (parts of both were thrown at PSG fans in the Paris stand from the away end), and a ban on travelling support for two unspecified matches.

Take into account PSG's Champions League punishment because of their fans' behaviour during the round of 16 loss at home to Real Madrid and it has been a costly past few months for the French giants.

The news also comes just after the Parc des Princes' atmosphere in the 7-1 Ligue 1 title-clinching win over Monaco was slammed by many, notably chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

PSG reached the Coupe de France final on Wednesday night with a 3-1 win away at Caen, thanks to a Kylian Mbappe double.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.


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