Why does OL clearly want its takeover by John Textor to succeed?

Lastly D-Day for the American period of Olympique Lyonnais? In any case, it’s this Thursday that the sale of the membership have to be finalized, as scheduled by each OL and John Textor’s Eagle Soccer group, throughout a second postponement of the operation, on 24 october. For the reason that presentation of the American businessman in entrance of the press on June 21, it appears to be the course of historical past to see Jean-Michel Aulas hand over, even when he would stay for one more three years the president of the membership. . Besides that many setbacks have accompanied these final 5 months, and a brand new postponement, or perhaps a failure of the transaction, can’t be excluded.

20 minutes wonders how essential, if not even very important, it’s to see this negotiation succeed this Thursday, after John Textor’s profitable look earlier than the DNCG on Wednesday, as indicated The Group. In opposition to the backdrop of a central query: might OL actually reconnect with its wonderful future of the 2000s (seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles) with out benefiting from the recent cash and momentum embodied by a brand new investor?

Will the general public handshake of June 21 between John Textor and Jean-Michel Aulas result in an settlement on the sale of the membership, this Thursday? – Laurent Cipriani/AP/SIPA

Financial fragility with the development of the stadium

From 2007, as OL rushed in direction of their final months of sporting hegemony (French champion in 2007 and doubled L1-Coupe de France in 2008), the membership’s inventory market itemizing turned official and Jean’s venture -Michel Aulas to construct his personal stadium is on the similar time a visionary turning level in French soccer. This Parc OL de Décines (Rhône), which concerned a complete funding of 410 million euros for the membership; Wasn’t it finally too dangerous an financial gamble? Based on The GroupOL now has €300 million in debt with 13 banks.

“I feel it was an excellent choice, says Vincent Chaudel, co-founder of the Sport Enterprise Observatory. However as we additionally noticed with Arsenal, which declined in sporting efficiency on the finish of the Wenger period by constructing the Emirates Stadium, as an alternative of investing in sports activities, we primarily spend money on stone. This era reversed the Lyon dynamic as a result of OL might have modified too many issues on the similar time: the administration mannequin with the arrival on the bench of Claude Puel with expanded features, recruitment with vital threat taking up Yoann Gourcuff, and subsequently the financial mannequin with the development of the stadium. If you change so many issues, you might be on the mercy of the slightest grain of sand. »

Parc OL, here during a Ligue 1 match between Lyon and Strasbourg last season, can accommodate around 59,000 spectators.
Parc OL, right here throughout a Ligue 1 match between Lyon and Strasbourg final season, can accommodate round 59,000 spectators. – Adil Benayache/SIPA

One of many grains of sand on OL’s path has exactly involved this new stadium, solely out there in January 2016, lengthy after the projections made by Jean-Michel Aulas, particularly due to the a number of appeals from native residents. “We had deliberate to construct the stadium in 2010, after we had been within the Champions League, recalled JMA in 2014 at Lyon Capital. And there, we pay appreciable sums in procedural prices to reply to the 80 lawsuits made by a minority of people that don’t know of ​​what it prices: greater than 10 million euros. »

Sports activities economist Vincent Chaudel confirms: “This new stadium was delivered just a few years late, and it is a interval when OL would have wanted the 20-30 million euros per 12 months that the stadium might have report back to him. And above all, it doesn’t give its full measure at the moment within the membership’s financial system since it isn’t utilized in a Champions League mode.

The European countryside is shifting away

Lyon’s financial drama is well focused and might be summed up in a single stat: OL have missed 7 of the final 11 Champions League {qualifications}. The sporting anomaly is simple since Lyon remained the second price range of the championship all through this era. Likewise, it’s fairly insane that the 2020 semi-finalist of probably the most prestigious European competitors has since watched all of the C1 campaigns on tv. He’s prone to do the identical subsequent season, given his present sluggish eighth place in Ligue 1, 10 factors from the rostrum. Whereas his final title dates again greater than ten years (the Coupe de France 2012), his sporting downgrading is obvious in France.

And the absence of the Champions League systematically deprives OL of a jackpot of at the very least 50 million euros, between the fastened participation bonus, that referring to its UEFA historical past and the share of tv rights, plus 2, 8 million euros for every success within the competitors… And this with out mentioning ticketing income, which might attain 4 million euros for a poster at Parc OL. Former president of Losc and RC Lens, Luc Dayan deciphers the deadlock wherein the Lyon membership finds itself in view of its difficulties find Europe.

Jean-Michel Aulas by no means hid it: in its projected budgets, OL needed to make the Champions League at the very least two out of three years. The factor that would not have been foreseen by the Lyon leaders when launching their very own stadium venture was the arrival of Qatar at PSG. Earlier than that, OL had been virtually all the time first or second [9 fois de 2000 à 2012]. The takeover of PSG mechanically blocked a spot in C1. Lyon, which discovered itself pressured to repay a part of the true property of its venture, was then unable to dedicate this cash to its payroll. Golf equipment like Monaco, Lille and others have subsequently turn out to be sturdy contenders for the rostrum. And when you do not obtain the 50 million euros that you just had deliberate from UEFA, it’s important to get them out in one other means: by promoting your greatest gamers like all French soccer does aside from PSG. »

In direction of an inevitable impoverishment of the workforce

The juicy gross sales this 12 months of Brazilian midfielders Bruno Guimaraes and Lucas Paqueta completely illustrate Luc Dayan’s level. OL thus didn’t hesitate to promote in 2022 the 2 largest market values ​​of its workforce, even when it meant depriving itself of its two greatest gamers, regardless of the sporting dynamic then already worrying with Peter Bosz. Like one other star participant earlier than him, Memphis Depay, who left a 12 months earlier, Lucas Paqueta was symbolically not changed final summer time, after leaving for West Ham on the very finish of the switch window.

It is easy, over the past two seasons, Stade Rennais (present third in Ligue 1) has spent virtually 5 instances more cash than OL in switch compensation (€155m towards €32m). Dangerous financial and sporting operations are additionally accumulating in Lyon, which pays for plenty of unhealthy selections in recruitment and administration of its belongings. Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembélé ought to go away the membership on the finish of their contract subsequent summer time. As for the contribution of Romain Faivre, the final huge funding on the size of this OL (17 million euros, bonus included), it has been (very) disappointing to this point.

Lucas Paqueta had joined West Ham, at the end of the last summer transfer window, for 61.6 million euros (bonus included).
Lucas Paqueta had joined West Ham, on the finish of the final summer time switch window, for 61.6 million euros (bonus included). – Simon Dael/Shutterstock/SIPA

A extremely much less unsure future?

Add to this gloomy image the Mediapro fiasco and the implications of Covid-19, with 36.5 million euros in losses introduced in June 2020 by OL Groupe, then 50.6 M€ for the tip of 2020, and you’ll partly perceive why. Pathé (19.36%) and IDG Capital (19.85%) shareholders have needed to withdraw from the Lyon capital since final March. Even the acute diversification of the membership (OL Féminin, OL Vallée, concert events at Parc OL, the longer term OL Enviornment, and many others.) is subsequently no assure of financial restoration within the medium time period. “All the pieces that President Aulas has put in place is meant to cushion as a lot as potential towards potential sporting underperformance,” analyzes Vincent Chaudel. However when Lyon is sportingly not the place it ought to be, that inevitably impacts its financial system. If OL had participated within the final three Champions League campaigns, they won’t want an investor at the moment. »

This could subsequently be John Textor, since inside the Lyon membership, we had been nonetheless assured on Wednesday. Each proprietor of Botafogo (Brazil), and majority shareholder in Crystal Palace (England) and Molenbeek (Belgium), the 57-year-old American businessman would in any case have satisfied the DNCG. And if the deal ever fails for good, what could be the outlook for Lyon? “OL has the particularity of getting shareholders who’ve deep pockets, whether or not it’s Jean-Michel Aulas and his household holding firm, Pathé and IDG Capital, insists Luc Dayan. If the membership must pay losses to be able to keep alive, shareholders should take cash out of their pockets. We are able to think about that at OL, they won’t abandon the membership as was the case in Bordeaux. Then to Pathé, IDG and even Holnest to then discover folks to purchase their shares. So, as thrilling as a header from Jimmy Briand in derby harm time, this potential cshedding timeNope ?

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