Le Progrès report today that Norodom Ravichak, the Cambodian prince in the running to take over at Saint-Étienne after making his official bid, has as recently as last year worked with rivals Lyon.
Ravichak, the nephew of the current monarch of Cambodia, had been in contact with OL president Jean-Michel Aulas over a partnership with the club’s academy. As discussions advanced, the project would have included a development project based in the prince’s country. In the end, however, negotiations did not result in an agreement between the two parties.
This month, the Lyon management were surprised to see Ravichak’s name listed among the potential new owners of their arch rivals. The prince is even said to be retaining hope of striking his partnership with Lyon, despite his potential future investment in Saint-Étienne. The call for offers, which is being managed by auditing firm KPMG, has seen him put forward a guarantee of €100m. Nevertheless, the offer has yet to be approved for access to club’s recent accounts, unlike the two other candidates in the running.
The revelation comes in the build-up to the derby between the two sides, as a struggling, last-placed Saint-Étienne host a Lyon side in mixed form.