Former Lille owner Lopez steps in to save Girondins from bankruptcy

June 23 – Former Lille owner Gerard Lopez has stepped forward to save plagued Girondins de Bordeaux from going bust after an agreement was reached according to the Ligue 1 club for an undisclosed sum. 

In April, Bordeaux were placed into administration after investment management firm King Street Capital Management withdrew financial support from the club. King Street succeeded broadcaster M6 as the majority stakeholder in the club in a €70 million takeover in 2018 and poure €46 million into the club before pulling out.

On Tuesday, the club said Lopez had closed a deal with the Fortress Investment Group to take over the club, an agreement that is subject to approval from the league’s National Directorate of Management Control. Last year, Lopez sold Lille to Callisto Sporting, a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based investment fund Merlyn Partners. Lille went on to win the Ligue 1 title.

Bordeaux have struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep afloat. France’s DNCG demanded reassurances from the fund over the financing of Bordeaux’s deficit. When Bordeaux still piled on the losses in July 2020, the DNCG turned a blind eye as King Street injected €27.5 million in the club. Last December, the investment fund supported the club with a further €40 million and more than a dozen redundancies were announced at the start of 2021 to streamline operations.

Bordeaux is expected to run up losses of €80 million by the end of the current season, according to French sports daily L’Equipe.

Bordeaux last won the league title in 2009. They finished 12th in Ligue 1 last season.

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