Jean-Michel Aulas to sue current Lyon owner John Textor

As reported by RMC, former Lyon owner and president Jean-Michel Aulas will sue new owner John Textor for defamation, as announced in a statement released through Holnest – the former’s family holding through which he retains shares in the club.

The latest development comes after a post from Aulas last night on X (formerly Twitter) in which he reacts to Textor’s comments in a press conference yesterday, in which he notably details the difficult relationship between the two men after a tumultuous sale process. 

Textor notably accused Aulas of hiding a warning on the part of the DNCG – French football’s financial watchdog – regarding the potential sanctions the club could be facing. As reported by RMC, he spoke of an email sent by Aulas which outlined a “positive” view from the DNCG on the takeover, but which also contained a document with a summary of the correspondence between Lyon and the financial authority. In this document, he says, there was a mention that the club would need to bring more capital to the table should they fail to qualify for European competition (they would eventually finish 7th, outside of Europe).

“This was the only ‘bad’ news in the email, in the middle of a paragraph that was, in a way, a bit submerged. Above all, this email was not sent to our lawyers and the team in charge of the transaction.”

The American businessman then explained that, had he known of the restrictions (the DNCG eventually decided to monitor the club’s wage bill and transfer business this summer), he would have lowered the value of the sale and put more money onto the club’s accounts.

Aulas, who is no longer club president as of the start of May, reacted later in the evening: “I’m assuming that John Textor didn’t make these comments, because if he did, he’d be liable to a libel suit and, what’s more, he’d risk disastrous sanctions for OL from the DNCG and the LFP [League authorities] …!”

GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin

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