Olivier Markarian on proposed Saint-Étienne takeover: “We can immediately inject between €40m and €50m.”

After the removal of Claude Puel from his position as Saint-Étienne coach at the weekend, attempts to find a buyer for Ligue 1’s bottom club continue. Despite already having an offer rejected by KMPG, who are handling the club’s sale, businessman Olivier Markarian, told L’Équipe he was prepared to “immediately inject between €40m and €50m” into the club.

What funds do you have?
“We can immediately inject between €40m and €50m into the finances of the club in order to allow the club to avoid problems linked to the African Nations Cup during the winter transfer window and avoid relegation.”

Where does the money come from?
“From Stéphanois, like me, but also from Canadians and Swiss. We joined forces with Fuchs, a Luxembourg company, which is far from being a financial ‘Mickey Mouse’. Fuchs serves as a financial vehicle and intermediary with KPMG.”

Why did KPMG feel that your ‘legal and financial guarantees were not sufficient’?
“Do you think that if we weren’t credible, they would have given us access to the data room [financial records]? KPMG did so because the origin and the amount of our funds aren’t open to dispute. First tier banks have given us letters of guarantee on all amounts requested. Not a single one was questioned. I’m not a prince or a billionaire, I’m therefore less appealing in the eyes of the general public – but I do deserve a little consideration.”



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