According to L’Équipe the sale of Saint-Étienne still hangs in the balance with American businessman David Blitzer considering a new offer for the club after his bid failed at the end of June. This comes as two other North American interested parties have emerged, with hotel group Accor also named as a potential candidate (who later denied such a link).
Blitzer has not officially reacted to the breakdown in negotiations between the two parties, but has reportedly shown himself as open to new negotiations with ASSE – or with another top tier French club. Whilst RC Lens are open to investment from a minority investor – Blitzer wants to be the principal owner of a football club, but is still looking at Lens’ proposition.
Negotiations between Saint-Étienne and Blitzer originally commenced in the spring, after ASSE’s dramatic relegation to the second tier was confirmed via a play-off defeat against promoted AJ Auxerre. However they failed after the American proceeded to lower his offer to buy the current owner’s shares from €33-38m whittled down to €10m due to the club’s status in Ligue 2, taking advantage of the uneasy atmosphere surrounding the club, which club president Roland Romeyer was unhappy with.
Saint-Étienne, who need to be sold in order for the club’s future finances to be secure, have seen the emergence of at least two more candidates – one from the United States, and another from Canada. However, they are only at the initial stages of gathering information. Accor – the hotel chain that was PSG’s previous shirt sponsor – were also cited as a candidate but the group denied any potential involvement with ASSE.