November 7 – RedBird Capital Partners, the American investment fund that owns 19-time Serie A champions AC Milan, are contemplating the sale of Toulouse FC.
RedBird, who also have a position in Liverpool via their 10% stake the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG), bought an 85% stake in the French club in the summer of 2020. Under RedBird’s ownership, Toulouse were promoted to Ligue 1, also winning their first major trophy earlier this year, beating holders Nantes to claim the French Cup.
According to Bloomberg sources close to RedBird, a feasibility study has been launched into the future sustainability of the club and the implications of other club ownerships for RedBird’s investment model.
The timing of any potential sale coincides with Ligue 1’s ongoing negotiations for a new media rights deal, which will significantly impact the club’s valuation and overall finances.
Earlier this year, UEFA conducted an assessment regarding a potential conflict of interest arising from RedBird’s both Toulouse and Milan’s participation in the same European competition.
UEFA regulations state that two teams under the same ownership cannot compete in the same European competition at the same time due to a potential conflict of interest.
The rule written under Article 5 of UEFA’s regulations states: “No individual may have control or exercise influence over more than one club participating in UEFA club competitions.”
Following the clubs’ commitment to maintain separate operations, UEFA granted them permission to compete. In compliance with this decision, RedBird founder Gerry Cardinale stepped down from his role on Toulouse’s board before the ruling.
With Redbird-owned AC Milan yet to score in their opening three Champions League group stage games, the Rossoneri look increasingly unlikely to progress into the knockout rounds of the Champions League. A third place finish is still on the cards with the club just two points shy from the Europa League drop, which could theoretically see them face Toulouse in the next round.
Toulouse return to Europa League action this week following a disappointing loss to Le Havre at the weekend. The stage is set for a Thursday night rematch with Liverpool, who beat Le Violets 5-1 at Anfield.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at email@example.com