Despite promising a big January transfer window following Olympique Lyonnais’ latest defeat against Stade de Reims, owner John Textor faces another meeting with the DNCG – French football’s financial watchdog. An extension of the restraints experienced by OL during the summer transfer window is possible, according to L’Équipe.
Lyon’s summer spending was heavily restricted by the DNCG after Textor failed to present €60m worth of club funds (which would have been expected to be achieved via player sales prior to June 30th). As a result, spending was limited with transfers and salaries strictly supervised by French football’s financial watchdog. Whilst the American owner believed that he and the club would be free of those constraints during the January transfer window, this may not necessarily be the case.
Firstly, FIFA will investigate Ernest Nuamah’s move to Lyon. Lyon didn’t have the funds necessary to buy the Ghanaian international, and so another club within the Eagle Football family, Molenbeek, purchased the player for €25m before then loaning him to Les Gones. Whilst this move didn’t sit well with the DNCG, it was permitted, but it is now up to FIFA to investigate.
Another key issue is the terms of payment for players sold last summer. Bradley Barcola (€45m + €5m in bonuses) and Castello Lukeba (€34m including bonuses) were both sold this summer. It must be ascertained what percentage of those sums have either already been paid to OL or will be paid before 30th June 2024.
This is a more major issue due to Textor’s inability to sell other assets. It was promised that OL Reign, the club’s American Women’s side, would be sold. However, that sale is yet to come to pass. Raine has been charged with finding a buyer before the end of 2023. The LDLC Arena, as well as OL féminines, the best European team in these past 10 years, are also for sale as Lyon look to sell assets and free themselves from the clutches of the DNCG.
“As you know, in January, we will have no limit in terms of governance, on our capacity to strengthen the team,” said Textor in a press release over the weekend. Time will tell if that is indeed the case.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle