Cambodian prince offers €100m for Saint-Étienne

September 22 – Cambodian prince Norodom Ravichak has expressed interested in taking over Saint-Étienne, reportedly offering €100 million for the Ligue 1 club. 

In an interview with local French media, the prince explained his interest in Saint-Etienne and the rationale behind a potential takeover. He simply wants to take care of the struggling club. 

“My goal now is to take care of Saint-Étienne and those who work so that the club can return to its rightful position in French and European football,” said Ravichak. ‘I’ve always dreamt of [taking over a football club], the opportunity presented itself in the form of a club that is dear to me. So I decided to do everything to take it.”

Ravichak is the nephew of Cambodian king Norodom Sihamoni. The country’s royal family has strong ties with France, spending their time between Paris and Phnom Penh. Ravichak also heads a financial consulting firm in the French capital, B & N Conseil et Strategie. The other partner in the firm is Ahmed Bessedik, an ally of PSG president Nasser alKhelaïfi. 

Saint-Etienne has been struggling financially, with revenues falling from €110 million to €70 million during the global health crisis.  At the moment, Saint-Étienne, lingering near the bottom of the Ligue 1 table, is in the hands of two co-shareholders: Bernard Caïazzo and Roland Romeyer. They have charged KPMG with the task of finding new ownership for the club. 

“I am bringing in some solid [financial] partners, who I will reveal when the time comes,” added Ravichak. “I am not coming for economic reasons. I want to invest over the long term and look after Saint-Étienne. If we reach an agreement, I would bring in enough resources to achieve these ambitions and allow the club to rediscover its brilliance.”

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