good luck, Aulas, PSG… Textor talks about taking over the club and his ambitions at Les Gones!

More than a month after the press conference that formalized the acquisition of Olympique Lyonnais by John Textor, the American businessman gave his first French interview to L’Equipe. In this interview, the owner of Botafogo or Molenbeek talks about his wealth, his relationship with Jean-Michel Aulas, the rivalry with Paris-Saint-Germain or his sporting ambitions at the head of Les Gones .

A fortune of 3 billion?

“No. I have enough money that my investments are paid with money, no bank and no partner. That’s it. If the people of Lyon need an oligarch or a state with money thanks to oil, it’s not me (laughs) . I don’t participate in these discussions, my mother always tells me not to talk about money.(…) I have a commitment letter from her company. To win the tender, we have to show that we have money. The fastest way to do that is to get a line of credit from a group called Cannae Holding Company, which includes M Foley I pledged all my assets through Botafogo (Brazilian D1), Crystal Palace and Molenbeek (Belgian D2 ) and other personal assets to secure this loan, so I’m the majority owner. We need this financial plan to make the deal, it’s the same for all major claims, like in Chelsea. OL, that’s the most important thing.”

The choice of Lyon

“My interest is to come to France, mainly because of immigration here, especially from French-speaking Africa (with a view to transfer between its different clubs). I first looked at more small clubs in France. Then I was surprised to see that Pathé and IDG left one of the best clubs, one of the better management, with one of the best academies and in addition a diversity of football de-risking businesses. I had to jump on it.”

New leaders with Jean-Michel Aulas?

“Jean-Michel (Aulas) has a contract and the rest of the management remains in place. There is not a single person that I know who can go. No one. Okay, if someone spits on my shoes every day in the office, I’ll fire it because I like my shoes, but there’s no reason for that (laughs) Historically, I don’t like the running company, I’m like a crazy uncle, disruptive, provocative. I like to think about the world in five year. . I call Jean-Michel and challenge him with new ideas. Then I say to him: “John, it can be done”, or not. The crazy uncle should not lead the company but he is the one who sometimes has good ideas.”

Will compete with PSG

“Why not? If we bring European standards to young Americans, they will be just as good. Paris went to Florida with this stupid PSG Academy program, putting jerseys on everyone. The people of PSG came and made this program, a license, and they told me that no child goes to PSG. And I thought: why? Why say that, go to Florida where there are Latinos and declare that there is no one these kids who won’t be on the team? Why are you here? To sell shirts? If I see eleven players in the world that you can’t find or buy, we’ll beat you. We won’t beat them every year but the Lyon has already won against PSG.”

Textor consults in the transfer window?

“No, but Jean-Michel Aulas is good. He informed me, they work well to know what the team can do in two or three years. I have the details, but Jean-Michel did not ask me ” Should I sell Paqueta? He is an important player and I will not make decisions.”

Ambitions at this time

“It is very clear: to return to C1, of course. In the club, they are confident. They have plans with the old and the young. It is very difficult for me to judge the level of the Championship. It is a difficult League. I watch a lot of games but even though I own 90% of the club, I trust that they are right in their decisions they are smart people they know but I will watch like you what is happening . And I won’t make a decision until I know this Championship very well.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.