Foster Gillett is set to become the majority shareholder of Lyon after reaching an agreement with Jean-Michel Aulas, who is set to depart the club in the coming years
The younger Gillett is set to become the majority shareholder of the Ligue 1 outfit after reaching an agreement with owner and president Jean-Michel Aulas, who is set to depart the club in the coming years, according to L’Equipe, via Get French Football News.
Aulas was forced to find new investors following an announcement three months ago by Pathe and IDG Capital that they would be selling their respective 20 per cent stakes. Gillett’s offer is just shy of the €600m mark (£510m) and is set to beat three other bidders, among whom is Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor.
Aulas will remain president of the club, a role he has occupied since 1987, for roughly another three seasons in order to facilitate the transition of ownership, while Gillett will succeed him. The announcement is expected to come in the next 10 days as the details are finalised.
The Gillett family had a controversial tenure at Liverpool after George bought the club alongside Tom Hicks in 2007. The American duo departed Anfield in October 2010 after both partners fell out with each other over the running of the club, selling the Reds to Fenway Sports Group.
Foster was also a director at Liverpool during his father’s turbulent reign, which was a living nightmare for fans as they continually broke promises and put the future of the club at threat after a leveraged buyout.
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Gillett and Hicks failed to deliver on the promise of a new stadium and when they left the club, the Reds were on the brink of administration, burdened by hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt. The Americans had regular disputes with chief executive Rick Parry and manager Rafa Benitez.
They were accused of asset-stripping the club and Liverpool won no trophies during their three-year reign. The club was in the relegation zone at the time of their departure.
Gillett Jr.’s net worth is around $700million (£558m) and he will take over a Lyon side that have just finished eighth in Ligue 1 and haven’t won a trophy in more than 10 years, despite their rich history.