June 26 – French Ligue 1 club Toulouse is reportedly in discussion with Manchester City owners City Football Group (CFG) with a view to joining the club group.
Toulouse just avoided relegation last season, finishing 18th but beating Ajaccio in the relegation play-off.
The club is keen to raise money which is sees as key to impr oving its Ligue 1 stability with club presidents Olivier Sadran ssaying negotiations were underway with an industrial partner and a “big European club”.
“We are working on a capital increase plan to give more resources to the club,” said Sadran. “With an industrial partner that brings added value… through a partnership with a big European club.
“This partnership will allow us to have more skills, be more consistent, and be more efficient in the game.”
It is unclear whether Toulouse would be sold in whole or or would just participate in a partnership agreement that would see the players loaned to the club. Sadran did not specifically identify Man City, though the identity of the partner is expected to be announced in Spetember.
CFG’s last club acquisition was of Girona in Spain last August, just before the start of the club’s first season in LaLiga’s top division. Man City had already loaned a number of players to the Spanish club. CFG bought a 44.3% stake in LaLiga club Girona alongside Pere Guardiola, brother of Man City manager Pep, who will also own 44.3%. The remainder of the shares in the new company are held by Girona fans. No value was put on the acquisition.
Girona become the sixth club in the CFG portfolio and their first in Spain, joining Australian A-League Melbourne City FC, and MLS franchise, New York City Football Club and Torque in Uruguay’s Second Division. CFG is a minority shareholder in Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan’s J-League.
If true, the Toulouse looks most likely to be a deal along the lines of the Girona model. The club has recently redesigned its club crest which now has a resemblance to Manchester City’s and other clubs in the CFG stable.
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