After weeks of back and forth Lyon was officially sold to John Textor. Jean-Michel Aulas, the man that started his journey with OL 1987 and turned them into one of the most dominant clubs in Ligue 1 spoke about the sale of the club stating, “It’s a great day for OL. We carried out this quite exceptional operation which took a little longer than imagined. John Textor was able to find the structures that will allow Olympique Lyonnais to find themselves in the Eagle holding company with other clubs that belong to it directly or indirectly to try to develop an ambitious structure in the world of European clubs.“
The investment may be great for the club, but it takes the power out of the longtime owner’s hands. However, he did confirm that he will still be the active president of the club, starting for a minimum period of three years and retaining a little less than 9% of the capital of OL Group. “The operation is large-scale. I understand that there is an expectation. It brings together a certain number of clubs and that is why it imposed a longer delay than expected. Elements were independent of the will of John Textor, in particular in the discussions with the Premier League for the arrival of Crystal Palace in the operation.”
Aulas spoke about the experience with Textor during the process of purchasing the club, “There was also a changing economic context with the fall of the dollar against the euro, the currency of the transaction, and the rise in rates due to inflation, but John was extremely present from start to finish. collaborated at all times to find solutions. He is a passionate person who wants to commit to making OL the flagship club of this structure.”
The OL president will also be an independent consultant and confirmed the team would be active in the January transfer window with access to a 86 million Euro investment to strengthen the team. Aulas stated, “The contribution is exactly 107 million euros because in the negotiations, the bankers asked to ensure a reduction in the stadium’s debt to the tune of 50 million euros to give more breathing space to OLG, but we have already, depending on the needs, will participate in the January transfer window with the new (financial) possibilities that came later than we had imagined, Monday.”
The Textor era may have started with a fumble, but if Aulus is known for anything it is his love of Lyon. If he felt that this was the right move for OL then there is no reason to doubt that Textor and this multi-team project was the best option for the club.
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