Crystal Palace shareholder John Textor has completed his purchase of French side Olympique Lyonnais.
American businessman Textor has bought Lyon in a deal that is valued at around €800m by the Financial Times. The seven-time Ligue 1 winners currently sit eighth in the table.
Textor owns 40% of Crystal Palace after his £90m investment in the Premier League side in 2021. He also controls Brazilian side Botafogo and Belgian outfit WD Molenbeek.
In a statement, Textor said: “Today represents a new beginning for Olympique Lyonnais. 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.
“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, reliant on training and development methodologies of Olympique Lyonnais, a reference in the field.
“One immediate example of such opportunities is the Pele Academy, the historical partner of OL in Brazil, which is already a close neighbour and regular trading partner of Botafogo. Of course, we will continue to be a supportive and meaningful partner at Crystal Palace as we hope our global footprint of talent development can be a collaborative asset to all of our Eagle-affiliated clubs and communities.
“The conditions are therefore right for us to work together, with Jean-Michel, on sports, organisation and infrastructure issues. He will keep the operational management of Olympique Lyonnais for at least three years and will remain surrounded by his team. We are already thinking together about how we can strengthen our strategy to regain the highest ambitions in soccer for our men’s and women’s teams, but also for you, the fans, whose expectations we value immensely.”
Picture: Keith Gillard