This time is the right one? Almost five months after entering into exclusive negotiations with OL Groupe, John Textor has never been so close to taking control of the club. After two successive postponements, on September 30 and October 21, his company Eagle Football should this Thursday become the owner of the club by buying the shares of Pathé (19.3%), IDG (19.8%) and Holnest (27.7 %), the family holding company of Jean-Michel Aulas.
OL Groupe announced Wednesday evening, via a financial press release, to suspend the quotation of the shares from the opening of the market this Thursday, “pending the publication of a press release relating to the transaction with Eagle Football”. A new postponement is still possible, since as revealed by L’Équipe on November 9, Textor, already majority shareholder at Crystal Palace, was struggling to obtain approval from the English League for the acquisition of the Lyon club.
Future adjustments in the organization chart?
But from sources close to the American, “the closing process is progressing as planned” while at OL, actors in the file ensure that the latter entered “in the money time”. Which would mean that the authorization of the English authority has finally arrived. Another encouraging news came this Wednesday evening from the DNCG. Textor had an appointment by videoconference in the afternoon. Jean-Michel Aulas also attended this oral and, according to our information, it went very well. The DNCG should issue its recommendations during the day, even if they are only advisory.
When OL have joined the Eagle Football galaxy, the Lyon president will remain at the head of the club for a period of three years, in a form of governance. But Textor could not take too long to make some changes to the club’s organization chart. Douglas Freedman, current sporting director of Crystal Palace and trusted man of the American, was in the spans of Groupama Stadium during OL Nice (1-1), last Friday. Iain Moody, who already collaborates as an external consultant with OGC Nice, has also become closer to the Lyon operations in recent times.