Textor takes control at Lyon and targets glory in Ligue 1 and Champions League

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American tycoon John Textor on Tuesday completed his takeover of the French club Olympique Lyonnais and immediately targeted sustained rivalry with serial Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as well as success in the Champions League.

Textor acquired nearly 40 percent of Lyon's shares from Pathé and IDG to become one of the most powerful executives in French football.

Jean-Michel Aulas, who owns a third of the club, will remain as president under the deal for at least three years.

"We want to win championships," Textor said during a press conference convened to outline his vision for the club.

"Jean-Michel wants to be back on the European scene and I want to win the Champions League. I hope we can dream of that. I don't like the PSG model. I hope we can win against them in the next season."

Lyon notched up seven consecutive Ligue 1 crowns between 2001 and 2007.

Success

But since the Qatari Sports Investments group began to bankroll PSG, the club has won eight of the past 10 Ligue 1 titles.

Lyon, under Peter Bosz, finished the 2021/2022 campaign in eighth place - 25 points behind champions PSG and outside the berths leading to next season's European competitions.

"We can compete," added Textor. "We have to come back to the highest level in the table."

Textor made his mark as chief executive at the sports and entertainment streaming service fuboTV before acquiring a 40 percent stake in the English Premier League team Crystal Palace, as well as controlling stakes in the Brazilian team Botafogo and RWD Molenbeek in Belgium.

He confirmed around 90 million euros would be available during the summer transfer window to enhance the Lyon squad.

"Many teams aren't that far apart on a given day," said Textor. "In England it's good to see Crystal Palace go to Manchester City and win. But day in, day out City are better - that's why they are the champions. Ad that is where we need to get. We have to find the players, develop them and if necessary buy them."

The deal with Textor will lead to the gradual withdrawal of Aulas as the focal point of Lyon after 25 years.

"This is a great day for the institution," said Aulas. "For all the people who make it up ... We intend to continue this vital collaboration with the fans."

Textor's arrival comes as PSG finalise the departure of head coach Mauricio Pochettino. The 50-year-old Argentine, won the 2021 French Super Cup, the 2021 Coupe de France and the 2022 Ligue 1 crown after replacing Thomas Tuchel in January 2021.

However, his side this season - despite often deploying an attacking troika of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar - failed to dazzle and they imploded in the last-16 of the Champions League.

Christophe Galtier, who steered Lille to the 2021 Ligue 1 title before moving to Nice, is expected to take over at PSG within the next week.

"It's an honour to be chosen as the major shareholder at Lyon," Textor added.

"The groups selling their shares were very concerned about who they were selling to and I believe they felt that I have a good sense for football and its place in the community."

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