American Michele Kang chairs OL Women and announces “a major step forward in history”


Jeremy Laugier

The Olympique Lyonnais women’s team, a true European reference, officially integrates this Tuesday “a global structure of multi-team women’s football” with Washington Spirit, and chaired by the American billionaire Michele Kang.

Eight days after the ousting of Jean-Michel Aulas at the head of OL, the fate of his women’s team, a true European reference, is officially fixed. A joint press release from YMK Holdings and OL Groupe formalizes the creation of “a global women’s football group” chaired by American billionaire Michele Kang. The CEO of the American Washington Spirit franchise was present on Saturday in Orléans to lift the Coupe de France won by Wendie Renard and her partners against PSG (2-1).

“This agreement represents a major step forward in the history of professional women’s football,” said Michele Kang in this press release. It brings together the unrivaled tradition of OL Women, eight times winner of the Champions League, and the dynamism of Washington Spirit, NWSL champion in 2021, to usher in a new era of our sport. The complete alignment on this vision between the board of directors of OL Groupe and the main players, including Jean-Michel Aulas, John Textor and myself, is particularly strong. It’s a great honor for me to take charge of OL Women and lead this unprecedented project. »

“Each club will retain its own identity”

This will be scrutinized closely, as this women’s section was the main sporting satisfaction of the last decade of the Aulas era in Lyon. Concretely, Michele Kang will be with YMK Holdings the majority shareholder and the president of this global structure of women’s football, “the first multi-club organization of women’s football owned and managed by a woman”. The press release published on Tuesday specifies that in addition to Washington Spirit and OL, “the new organization aims to acquire additional clubs in other countries in Europe, America and Asia”. Michele Kang, who will also join OL Groupe’s Board of Directors, was unsurprisingly welcomed by OL’s new American boss John Textor.

“The agreement concluded today with Michele Kang makes it possible to create the ideal vehicle to build the global brand of Olympique Lyonnais and to ensure an exciting future for OL women”, underlines the owner of the club. Aware of the doubts that could surround this transaction in Lyon, in the wake of the stupor linked to the departure of JMA, the management of OL Groupe and YMK Holdings ensured on Tuesday that “each club will retain its own established identity, respecting its legacy and its community of supporters”. We will have clues this summer in this direction, while the Lyonnaises will try to validate their tenth title of champions of France on Sunday (9 p.m.) at the Parc des Princes.

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