The 2011–12 Ligue 1 season was the 74th since its establishment.Lille were the defending champions. The league schedule was announced on 31 March 2011 and the fixtures were determined on 10 June. The season began on 6 August 2011 and ended on 20 May 2012. The winter break was in effect from 22 December 2011 to 14 January 2012.
Auxerre, Dijon, and Caen were relegated to Ligue 2. Auxerre will be returning to the second division after 32 consecutive years playing in Ligue 1. Prior to the 2011–12 season, the club had never suffered relegation from the country's top division. Dijon will be returning to the second division after only one season in Ligue 1, while Caen will fall to the second tier after two years in the first division.
There were three promoted teams from Ligue 2, replacing the three teams that were relegated from Ligue 1 following the 2010–11 season. A total of 20 teams competed 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.
Arles-Avignon was the first club to suffer relegation from the first division to Ligue 2. The club's impending drop occurred on 17 April 2011 following the team's 2–0 defeat to AS Monaco. The negative result made it mathematically impossible for Arles to seize the 17th position in the table, which would have allowed the club to remain in Ligue 1. Arles-Avignon made its return to Ligue 2 after only a year's spell in the top division of French football. On 15 May, Lens were relegated from the first division to Ligue 2 after its 1–1 draw with Monaco. Lens returned to Ligue 2 for the first time since the 2008–09 season when the club finished as champions of the league. On the final day of the Ligue 1 season, Monaco suffered relegation to the second division after losing 2–0 to Lyon. The club's appearance in Ligue 2 was its first since 1976.
Evian became the first club from Ligue 2 to achieve promotion to Ligue 1 after its 2–1 victory over Reims on 20 May 2011. Evian made its debut in the first division and, similar to Arles-Avignon the previous season, the club's ascension to the first division is notable due in part to the fact that it has achieved successive promotions in four straight seasons. On the final day of the Ligue 2 season, both Dijon and Ajaccio earned berths in the first division after posting positive results in their respective matches. Dijon was promoted despite losing on the match day and, similar to Évian, made its debut in the top division of French football. Ajaccio returned to Ligue 1 after five seasons in the second division.
Updated to games played on 20 May 2012.
Source: Ligue de Football Professionnel
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored. 1Lyon have won the 2011–12 Coupe de France and thus qualify for the group stage of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. Since they finished 4th, the spot for the Europa League play-off round goes to the fifth-placed team. 2Marseille, as winner of the 2011–12 Coupe de la Ligue, qualifies for the third qualifying round of 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. (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 20 May 2012.
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 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.