The 2010–11 Ligue 1 season (known as Ligue 1 Orange for sponsorship reasons) was the 73rd since its establishment. Entering the season, Marseille were the defending champions. The fixtures were announced on 21 May 2010 and the season began on 7 August and ended on 29 May 2011. The winter break was in effect between 23 December and 15 January 2011. There were three promoted teams from Ligue 2, replacing the three teams that were relegated from Ligue 1 following the 2009–10 season. A total of 20 teams currently competes in the league with three clubs suffering relegation to the second division, Ligue 2. All clubs that secured Ligue 1 status for the season were subject to approval by the DNCG before becoming eligible to participate. In addition, Germansportswear company Puma, whom the Ligue de Football Professionnel share a partnership with, provided a brand new match ball for the new season.
On 19 April, Caen drew 0–0 with Nîmes. The draw assured Caen a return to Ligue 1 after falling down to Ligue 2 the previous season. On 30 April, Brest secured promotion to Ligue 1, for the first time since being administratively relegated in 1991, following stalemates in matches involving Metz and Clermont. Brest capped the promotion by defeating Tours 2–0 on the same day. On 14 May, on the final day of the Ligue 2 season, Arles-Avignon became the last Ligue 2 club to achieve promotion to the first division. The club defeated 4th place club Clermont 1–0 at home to earn promotion. The club had achieved promotion to Ligue 2 from the third-tier Championnat National the previous season meaning the club has jumped two divisions in just two seasons.
Grenoble was the first club to suffer relegation to Ligue 2. The club's impending drop occurred on 10 April 2010 following the team's 4–0 defeat to Toulouse. On 3 May 2010, both Boulogne and Le Mans were relegated to Ligue 2 following defeats. Le Mans relegation was confirmed following their 3–2 loss away to Nancy, while Boulogne suffered relegation after losing 1–0 to Saint-Étienne, who both Boulogne and Le Mans were trailing. Boulogne's return to Ligue 2 meant a short-lived stay in the highest division. The club had successfully earned promotion to Ligue 1 the previous year.
On 17 May 2010, the Ligue de Football Professionnel announced that, for the first time in French football history, two clubs, Lorient and Nancy, would switch the surface of their football pitch from grass to artificial turf. This type of surface is common in North America and Eastern Europe, but is considered rare in Western Europe. Both clubs attributed the switch to weather and ecological problems with severe cold fronts affecting their regions every winter. The switch would, in turn, reduce energy costs and also avoid cancellations of matches due to a frozen pitch. Also, in Lorient's case, a constant proliferation of earthworms onto their pitch over the past two seasons had led to a rapid deterioration of the ground, which has forced the club to spend as much as €2 million to replace it. Both clubs previously toured Russia, Austria, and Norway to become better acclimated with the surface.
Updated to games played on 21 May 2011.
Source: Ligue de Football Professionnel
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored. 1As 2010–11 Coupe de France winners Lille are qualified for the UEFA Champions League and cup runners-up Paris St. Germain are already ensured of a UEFA Europa League spot via league placement, the play-off round berth reserved for the cup winners was awarded to Sochaux, the fifth-placed team. 2As Coupe de la Ligue winners Marseille are qualified for the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League third qualification round round berth reserved for the league cup winners was awarded to Rennes, the sixth-placed team.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished: (Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
Updated to games played on 21 May 2011.
Source: Ligue de Football Professionnel 1 ^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column. Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
For coming matches, an a indicates there is an article about the match.
The nominees for the Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Goal of the Year in Ligue 1. The winners were determined at the annual UNFP Awards, which were held on 22 May. The winners will be displayed in bold.
^The DNCG is responsible for overseeing the legal and financial accounts of professional football clubs in France. If clubs operating in French football don't meet the DNCG's expectations, they can face sanctions, such as relegation.