After plenty of negotiations, Eagle Football now own a majority stake in Lyon. The latest deal has led to a change in the board composition to reflect its new status.
Football has become a capitalist entity. The days when the motivation of the game is the passion and love for its artistic expressions are gone. The fluid that oils the game has moved from the people’s hearts to their pockets. It is a money game. The more you have, the higher the chances of dominating the game.
With player salaries and bonuses hitting the roof, it has become imperative that more money enters the game. With more money flowing into the game, the more it loses its essence. Everyone is trying to get a massive share of the cake. The mad scramble is taking the game away from the people. Perhaps it is safe to say that football has lost its soul.
The Americans and Arabians have invaded the game and looking to milk it for all its worth. It is not a newfound love for football but another business interest. The latest club to be acquired is Lyon. The Ligue 1 side has fallen under the majority holding of the US-led investment fund Eagle Football.
Eagle Football in a takeover of Olympic Lyonnais
For many months, there has been horse trading over the ownership of Lyon. The French club has now fallen under the management of the US-led investment fund Eagle Football, who bought majority stakes in the club. The deal was announced on Monday, ending several months of back-and-forth between the two parties.
American John Textor owns the fund and now holds 77.49% of Lyon on a non-diluted basis. The fund also owns 86.57% in concert with Holnest on a fully-diluted basis. The deal has brought necessary rearrangements at the club, with a change in the board composition reflecting the new shareholding structure.
In a statement after the conclusion of trading, Textor stated that after four months of constructive negotiations, they are proud to have reached an exceptional agreement. The closure came after several delays to the purchase. In July, Eagle Football announced the deal that has now materialized at the tail end of the year.
A lengthy deal and its conclusion
In early December, Textor said that his Eagle Football Holding LLC would see the deal for the purchase of Lyon to a logical conclusion. Textor confirmed a week later that they had obtained all the necessary consents and related agreements signed. The statement suggested they were close to completing the deal.
The fund went along with the agreed plan and subscribed to Lyon’s reserved capital increase for €86 million ($91.34m). The next item on the agenda is to file a simplified cash tender offer for the remaining shares and convertible bonds it does not own for €3 per share and €265.57 per bond.
The billionaire investor has his fingers in several pies around the world. He has bought stakes in several football clubs, including Brazil’s Botafogo, Premier League side Crystal Palace and Belgian second-division team Molenbeek.
Textor plans to beat the system dominated by the big European clubs by developing young talent from the north and South America.
According to a statement by Textor, Eagle Football intends to quickly implement collaboration across its clubs, notably in France, Brazil and Belgium.
Textor also stated that the club’s previous owner Jean-Michel Aulas would be an independent director in Eagle Football.
Lyon are eighth in Ligue 1, with 21 points from 15 games.