The takeover of the women’s Olympique Lyonnais by the American Michele Kang was formalized on Tuesday by the Rhone club. It will be integrated into a larger structure including the Washington Spirit club, which the businesswoman owns.
The women’s Olympique Lyonnais goes under the American flag. American businesswoman Michele Kang has taken over the club, after an agreement to integrate it into a multi-club women’s football structure. She will be the majority shareholder and president, a joint press release announced on Tuesday May 16. “The closing is expected to take place at the end of June 2023“, because the transaction is subject to certain conditions, “including endorsement of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the United States and obtaining various third-party approvals in France“, specifies the press release signed by OL Groupe and YMK Holding.
“This agreement represents a major step forward in the history of women’s professional football“, says Michele Kang in this press release. “Through a share swap operation, OL Groupe will contribute its women’s team, and Michele Kang, through YMK Holdings, will contribute the majority of the shares of Washington Spirit to create a new independent entity.“, specifies the press release.
OL women will keep their identity
“The operation will result in the contribution by OL Association (an independent association subject to the 1901 law, consolidated by OL Groupe) of its activity relating to women’s football against a 12% stake in the new joint entity (without voting rights) . OL Groupe will also hold, via OL SASU, a 36% stake (without voting rights) in the new joint entity against the contribution of a license to the OL brand for a period of 50 years“, it is specified in the press release.
“Each club will retain its own established identity, respecting its heritage and community of supporters“, specifies the text. “Significant investments will be made centrally in the development of resources shared between all teams in the group, such as performance science and technology, data analysis, global recruitment, and sports personnel development.“, according to the same source.
Kang was present for the final of the Coupe de France
“There is no question of changing OL, which already works very well and has won many titles. But I will bring the necessary resources to evolve even more, to see further in terms of performance“, explains Michele Kang in an interview with The Team Tuesday. “We are working on the name“of the entity which will therefore include OL and the Washington Spirit club, announces Kang, who was present during the Rhone club’s victory in the Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday (2-1) .
Eventually, “the new organization aims to acquire additional clubs in other countries in Europe, South America and Asia“, according to the same source. The text also specifies that OL Groupe, owner of OL Reign, has begun a formal process of selling this club to the NWSL (North American championship) in order to avoid any future conflict. interests within the American League.