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The death of state clubs? This is the thinking that can revolutionize the economics of football

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“My football plan is to create an ecosystem of top-flight cooperative clubs that will benefit from sharing a global talent identification footprint.” These words are from John Textor, owner of Olympique de Lyon since the end of June 2022. This American businessman, among many other facets, comes to put the French club back at the top and be an antidote to state clubs. And it looks like you have the formula.

“By building controlled and integrated pathways between countries and clubs, we can be recognized as an ideal place to develop emerging players in our markets, allowing us to sign players before big clubs can buy them,” said said Textor in a recent interview with Reuters.

“I only hope to demonstrate that alternative approaches to competitiveness must be explored and promoted”, underlined a Textor capable of positioning himself as the kryptonite State clubs, which are mainly Paris Saint Germain (Qatar), Manchester City (Saudi Arabia) or Chelsea, financed by energy-consuming and billionaire states.

Textor’s wish can be addressed to the timeshare, something that has already existed in the world of football, but not in the clubs of the highest level. One of the clearest examples is that of the Pozzo family, which came to control three teams at the same time: Granada (Spain), Watford (England) and Udinese (Italy). Something completely legal, since the law only prohibits shared time in teams of the same league.

In this sense, investors are advocating the timeshare of different European clubs, according to reports Bloomberg, because Americans are going to own more and more clubs. Many options will involve agreements between several groups, where the club which has problems can be supported by the others. Thus, one of its objectives would be to develop players who become stars and then tackle their sale. “Developing players is better than trading players, for competitive success and for our business,” Textor says.

“I see some are underperforming financially. How is it possible that Manchester United have 500m fans and only 600m in revenue a year?

With all this, Textor, along with other American investors, seeks to reduce the cost of football. They believe dividing players into multiple teams will largely eliminate the need to spend millions of dollars on costly transfers, salaries and player agent fees.

Additionally, Textor ensures greater revenue generation potential for clubs. “I see some of the biggest teams are underperforming financially. How is it possible that Manchester United have 500 million fans and only have 600 million in revenue a year? Football clubs are incredibly important to people , but they didn’t connect with their audience beyond the game, the travel and the merchandise. That’s why I came. I don’t think any idea matters unless it’s is seen and used by 1 billion people.

Who is John Textor?

dubbed by the magazine Forbes as “Hollywood’s virtual reality guru”, Textor was winner of eight Oscars for special effects. Four of them raised them, with his company Digital Domain, thanks to The Strange Case of Benjamin Button. He also created the special effects for titanic, Armageddon, fight club That is dead Pool. But not only, because Textor also developed the Michael Jackson hologram for the “Billboard” awards.

Besides his cinephile facet, Textor is a loyal football fan. Or for Soccer as they call it in the United States. His career began to stand out when he acquired major sports franchises after becoming the majority shareholder of Eagle Football Holdings, a company in which he invested most of his investments.

From there, this businessman acquires shares in European clubs. First, he bought 18% of Crystal Palace in the Premier League; then 80% of Racing White Daring Molenbeek of the Belgian Pro League. His next step was to acquire with Eagle Football Holdings 90% of the shares of Brazil’s Botagofo. Even if the most special investment is that of Olympique de Lyon, which came to buy 80% of the OL group for just over 800 million dollars.

This sports club management philosophy is the same as that shared by Mexican businessman Alejandro Irarragorri, Chairman of the Board of Grupo Orlegi and current President of Sporting de Gijón. “We have to keep control, because it’s a business where if you don’t have one entity controlling the asset, you’re not going to get very far. That doesn’t mean you have to own 100%, but you have to stay in control,” he said. The Athletic.

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