US investor John Textor completed a takeover at Olympique Lyonnais. Textor previously purchased a minority stake in the French club this past summer. However, further investment has taken the businessman’s holdings in the team from 40% to 78%. This means that he now has control at the club.

Financial Times is reporting that the deal was finalized for around $940 million. The news outlet also claims that the investment group could soon go back to buy the remaining 22% of the club.

Lyon are now the fourth team that Textor currently has stake in. The American also owns 40% of Crystal Palace, 90% of Botafogo, and 80% in Belgian side RWD Molenbeek. All four purchases have been made in the last 18 months. Following the Lyon announcement, Textor claimed that it will be a new chapter for the Ligue 1 team.

US investor takes over Olympique Lyonnais

“Today represents a new beginning for Olympique Lyonnais,” proclaimed Textor. “After four months of constructive negotiations marked by a common understanding with Jean-Michel Aulas and all our partners, we are proud to reach this exceptional agreement.” 

“It will be a milestone in the history of European and international soccer development, thanks to the combination within one structure, Eagle Football, of our interests in football clubs with a rich culture and decades of experience: Olympique Lyonnais, Crystal Palace, Botafogo, and RWD Molenbeek.”

Aulas remaining with Lyon despite sale

Aulas has been the owner and president of Lyon since 1987. He is widely regarded to be a tough negotiator in transfer talks. Despite the takeover, Textor has made it clear that Aulas will remain with the club.

“Eagle Football, in which Jean-Michel Aulas will be an independent director, intends to quickly implement collaboration across its clubs notably in France, Brazil and Belgium, linking on training and development methodologies of Olympique Lyonnais, a reference in the field.”

“The conditions are therefore right for us to work together, with Jean-Michel, onsports, organization and infrastructure issues. He will keep the operational management of Olympique Lyonnais for at least three years and will remain surrounded by his team.”

Lyon is one of the biggest teams in France. They have collected seven top fight division titles during their illustrious history. Nevertheless, the club is currently in a bit of a downward trend. Lyon is eighth in the Ligue 1 table at the moment, a spot where they finished the previous campaign.

PHOTO: IMAGO / PanoramiC