American Visionary John Textor Leads Olympique Lyon

US Businessman John Textor to Buy Significant Stake in Olympique Lyonnais

US businessman John Textor is set to become a major shareholder in French Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais. Textor, who already holds shares in Crystal Palace and Botafogo, has allowed current Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas to retain a smaller portion of his Lyon shares. Aulas will continue to oversee the daily operations of the club until at least 2025.

Textor Confirmed as the Preferred Bidder for Lyon

In an effort to acquire Lyon, negotiations were previously held with Foster Gillett, another wealthy American businessman. However, the talks did not materialize, and Textor was subsequently announced as the preferred bidder by Lyon. The official takeover announcement followed soon after.

Lyon Aiming to Challenge PSG and Achieve European Success

Under new ownership, Lyon is expecting a shift in strategy. The goal is to build a team that can compete with Paris Saint-Germain for the league title and also achieve success in European competitions. Lyon President Aulas expressed his ambitions, stating, “We can’t envision being PSG’s main competitor every year, but we are taking the club to new heights. We now have the means to grow and will modify our approach. Our objective is to reach the pinnacle of both domestic and European competitions.”

Textor’s Vision for Lyon

John Textor has a grand vision for Lyon’s future, aiming to transform the club into an exciting and formidable team. He emphasized the importance of creating special moments, defeating rivals more frequently, and striking a balance between financial investments and nurturing talent. Textor also took a swipe at PSG’s business model, expressing his preference for Lyon’s sustainable approach rather than relying on wealthy investors.

Renewed Hopes and European Aspirations

With Textor at the helm, Lyon is entering a new era. Despite finishing eighth in Ligue 1 last season, the club has already made waves in the transfer market by signing French international Alexandre Lacazette from Arsenal. This strategic acquisition demonstrates Lyon’s commitment to its future success.

Textor’s Impressive Business Ventures

Beyond his involvement with Lyon, John Textor already holds a 40% stake in Crystal Palace, a majority stake in Brazilian club Botafogo, and part ownership in Belgian team RWD Molenbeek. Textor, a globally recognized digital expert, previously served as the executive chairman of fuboTV, a sports-centered streaming company. Notably, he also brings his expertise from his past as a freestyle skateboarder.

Lyon’s Odds and European Journey

Bookmakers currently rank Lyon as the third favorite to win the Ligue 1 title next season, following PSG and Marseille. Paris is the front-runner at -1000, with Marseille at +1100 and Lyon close behind at +1400. In the previous season, Lyon reached the Europa League quarterfinals but was eliminated by West Ham United with a 4-1 aggregate score.

Textor’s Investment and Lyon’s Valuation

As part of his initial investment, John Textor will contribute $91 million towards player acquisitions at Lyon. Additionally, he purchased Lyon for a reported $846 million, as estimated by Forbes.

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Doug I. Jones

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