John Textor, a billionaire from the United States, is expected to buy a large share in French football powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais.
The present owner, Jean-Michel Aulas, is anticipated to keep a stake in the Ligue 1 giants and continue at the Groupama Stadium. According to CBS Sports, negotiations are nearing completion but have not yet been completed.
Textor also owns around 40% of Crystal Palace in the Premier League, a controlling ownership in Brazilian powerhouse Botafogo, and a stake in Belgian first division club RWD Molenbeek.
The purchase of Lyon will have no effect on these teams’ ownership status, while the former CEO of fuboTV expects that the four clubs would benefit from common experience.
“My football plan is to create an ecosystem of cooperative top-tier clubs that will benefit from the sharing of a global footprint of talent identification,” Textor told CBS Sports.
“As I continue to be concerned that the competitive dominance of state owned teams, and other wealthy clubs, is damaging to the greater football landscape of community driven clubs, I am merely hoping to demonstrate that alternative approaches to competitiveness must be explored and encouraged.
“The idea that clubs and communities can collaborate to help each other is something that we should celebrate.”
Textor stated that Lyon’s goals for the coming season are to return to European play before establishing themselves as contenders for the French crown and continental trophies.
Despite finishing seventh in 2021-22 and failing to qualify for Europe, Lyon has been a historic powerhouse in French football!
Lyon won seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles from the 2001-2002 season but have struggled to compete in recent years, with big-spending Paris Saint Germain, who are owned by the state-run Qatar Sports Investments, dominating French football.
Their academies have also traditionally been one of the most successful in France, and in recent years they have produced talents like Anthony Martial, Corentin Tolisso, and Alexandre Lacazette into players sought after by the greatest names in European football. This summer, he returned to Lyon on a free transfer.
Meanwhile, their women’s team is perhaps Europe’s most successful, having won eight Champions League championships and 15 league titles.
Textor’s Crystal Palace shareholders Josh Harris and David Blitzer were involved in a bid to acquire Chelsea, but Todd Boehly won.