Crystal Palace shareholder John Textor has completed the purchase of French side Olympique Lyonnais.
American businessman Textor has bought Lyon in a deal that the Financial Times values at around 800 million euros. The seven-time Ligue 1 winners are currently eighth in the table.
Textor owns 40% of Crystal Palace following his £90m investment in the Premier League in 2021. He also controls Brazilian side Botafogo and Belgian side 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 agreement 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 the development of European and international football, 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, of which Jean-Michel Aulas will be an independent director, intends to quickly implement collaboration between its clubs, especially in France, Brazil and Belgium, based on the training and development methodologies of Olympique Lyonnais, a benchmark in the field.
“An immediate example of these opportunities is the Pelé Academy, a historic partner of OL in Brazil, which is already a close neighbor and regular business partner of Botafogo. Of course, we will continue to be a supportive and significant partner at Crystal Palace, already that we hope our global talent development footprint can be a collaborative asset for all our Eagle-affiliated clubs and communities.
“Therefore, the conditions are right for us to work together, with Jean-Michel, on matters of sports, organization and infrastructure. He will maintain the operational direction 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 bring back the highest ambitions in football for our men’s and women’s teams, but also for you, the fans, whose expectations we value enormously.”
Image: Keith Gillard