November 9 – OL Group has reached a preliminary agreement with a consortium of global financial institutions for the refinancing of the majority of the club’s debt and that of its subsidiary, Olympique Lyonnais SASU.
The total amount involved in the long-term refinancing is €320 million, although the identity of the financial institutions owner John Textor is working with has not been released.
Despite the financial challenges posed by stadium expenses, pandemic-related costs, and debts incurred with the Holnest company, OL’s financial outlook remains a significant worry for owner Textor.
Textor bought the seven-time French champions in 2022, to join a growing roster of clubs under his command. Olympique Lyon were the fourth club to be added to his portfolio having acquired majority stakes in Botafogo for an estimated $60 million and RWD Molenbeek. In 2021, Textor also paid £87.5 million for an 18% stake in Premier League regulars Crystal Palace.
The deal to take over Lyon originally stalled due to finance complications in 2022, which have snowballed into significant debt.
“The closing of the new financing should take place by December 31, 2023, subject to an agreement on the definitive documentation and the satisfaction of various usual conditions,” said a club statement.
“The confirmation of the main credit rating agencies and the quality of our new investors demonstrate the strength of the OL brand, the improvement of the group’s financial situation and the solidity of its business plan for the future”, said Textor.
OL supporters have grown uneasy with Textor since his acquisition of the club last year, and this financial solution may still not be enough to win them over.
On the pitch, Lyon has had a disastrous start to the season, as the club sit rock bottom of the Ligue 1 table, seven points from safety. They are the only side in the division without a win, losing six and drawing four of the opening ten games of the season.
This weekend’s fixture away against Rennes is a good opportunity for the club to pick up some points ahead of a tough list of fixtures, including matches against top half sides LOSC Lille, RC Lens, Marseille and AS Monaco in the coming weeks.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at firstname.lastname@example.org