Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says he wants to see bitter rivals Saint-Étienne return to Ligue 1

Speaking to RMC Sport, Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed that he wants to see bitter derby rivals Saint-Étienne make a return to Ligue 1 in the near future and says he does not hate Les Verts when asked about the now-absent derby in France’s top tier. The last time the pair played was on 21st February 2022, with Les Gones winning 1-0. 

On Monday’s edition of the Super Moscato Show, the Frenchman said “Do I hate Saint-Étienne? No, I don’t think so.” Aulas added that “When we were younger, we were all Saint-Etienne supporters when Saint-Etienne was at the top of the French league. From the moment you become president of Lyon, you necessarily become more aggressive, more of a defender of your values.”

The 73-year-old then spoke about his professional interactions with the current Ligue 2 club, adding “In my professional career, I have always had very good connections with Saint-Etienne and I still have them,” continued the Gones president with a smile. “The derby in Ligue 1 is one of the best derbies in France, so they have to move up to the first division.”

After 28 games, Saint-Étienne are 12th in Ligue 2, 17 points away from second place and a chance to climb to Ligue 1 – whilst Les Verts have been fighting relegation this year following a poor start to the season. 

GFFN | George Boxall

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