John Textor, the US businessman and Crystal Palace shareholder, is close to reaching an agreement to buy a significant stake in the French club Olympique...
John Textor, the US businessman and Crystal Palace shareholder, is close to reaching an agreement to buy a significant stake in the French club Olympique Lyonnais, The Athletic understands.
Jean-Michel Aulas, the current president and majority shareholder, is set to retain a smaller stake in the club and is expected to stay on to run the Ligue 1 side.
The US businessman Foster Gillett had been involved in an attempt to buy Lyon, whose men’s team finished eighth in Ligue 1 last season. But talks for Gillett to become the club’s new majority shareholder stalled, opening the door for Textor to commence negotiations.
Textor last year paid £90 million for a stake in Crystal Palace, having previously failed with an attempt to purchase 25 per cent of the Portuguese side Benfica.
It is understood his stake in the Premier League club is around 40 per cent.
The Athletic revealed in December that he had subsequently entered into talks to buy the Belgian second-tier club RWD Molenbeek. He is also the majority shareholder of Brazilian side Botafogo.
Textor’s fellow Palace shareholders Josh Harris and David Blitzer were meanwhile part of a group that tried — and failed — to buy Chelsea, who eventually sold to a consortium fronted by Todd Boehly.
Lyon is one of France’s most successful clubs, despite the recent struggles of their men’s team.
Lyon’s women’s team has enjoyed far more success in recent years, however, winning eight Champions League titles, including a record five successive titles from 2016 to 2020.
They also won last year’s tournament, beating Barcelona 3-1 in the final.Crystal Palace shareholder John Textor close to completing Lyon takeover - The Athletic View Story