Lens have Ligue 1 promotion suspended

Lens' French football club president Gervais Martel during a press conference on January 2, 2011
© Getty Images
French side Lens, who are bankrolled by new Sheffield Wednesday owner Hafiz Mammadov, have their promotion to Ligue 1 suspended due to financial problems.

Lens have had their promotion to Ligue 1 suspended due to a "not very serious" financial problem.

Club president Gervais Martel has claimed that this is because of a public holiday in Azerbaijan preventing money arriving from owner Hafiz Mammadov, who has recently acquired Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.

Martel is unconcerned by the suspension and is positive that Lens will be playing in Ligue 1 next year.

"We learned last night that our rise to Ligue 1 has, for the time being, been suspended," he told a press conference on Friday.

"It is unfortunate that this decision has been made but there is a simple reason for it. The payment date, the 26th, was a holiday in Azerbaijan, and the money did not arrive.

"I have absolutely no worries. We have appealed to the DNCG and we will provide all documents at the appropriate time. This is unfortunate - but it is not very serious."

The Stade Bollaert-Delelis outfit finished second in Ligue 2 last season to secure a return to the French top flight.

Lens' French football club president Gervais Martel during a press conference on January 2, 2011
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