Alexandre Bozio / Credits JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP 17:03 p.m., December 13, 2023

After resigning as president of Olympique Lyonnais in May 2022, Jean-Michel Aulas has decided to leave OL Groupe entirely. The former manager, who is tipped to be appointed vice-president of the FFF, also announced that he wanted to position himself for the purchase of the LDLC Arena via his company Holnest.

Jean-Michel Aulas and Olympique Lyonnais are really over. Former president of OL (1987 to 2023) and chairman and chief executive officer of OL Groupe (1999 to 2023), the man who is still a director within the institution, has decided to completely disengage from his historic club. According to information from Europe 1, he now intends to focus, on the scale of Lyon, on his company Holnest by becoming a candidate for the purchase of the LDLC Arena, a sports hall in the agglomeration soon to be put up for sale by the new president of OL, John Textor.

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"One of the most beautiful rooms in Europe"

In the show Le studio des légendes by Jacques Vendroux, to be found in full this Saturday at 20 p.m. on Europe 1, Jean-Michel Aulas, confided that he was going to "resign from the position of director". While his son is initially expected to succeed him, the French businessman, who is tipped to become the next vice-president of the French Football Federation, wants to "take an interest in the life of the people of Lyon. You know John has announced that he wants to sell the Arena which is an absolutely incredible monument," he explained.

"Not only is it one of the most beautiful venues in Europe in terms of concerts, basketball and event production, but it is also an incredible achievement that we had done in terms of the environment with the President of the Urban Community. We therefore decided to apply for the acquisition of this room" via his Holnest group.

Even if several aspirants are expected to position themselves on the project, this announcement demonstrates Jean-Michel Aulas' desire to continue to invest in the Lyon universe. It should be noted that this venue hosts some of the matches played by ASVEL, which is currently presided over by Tony Parker, who is reputed to be close to the former OL boss.

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Textor - Aulas, a relationship of ups and downs

On 8 May, an OL press release announced the departure of Jean-Michel Aulas from his duties as president of the club. It was the end of a 36-year reign that allowed the Lyon institution to transform itself and become one of the biggest clubs in France. The new American owner John Textor, who had got his hands on the club in December 2022 for nearly 800 million euros, was supposed to keep Jean-Michel Aulas for three years, but differences over the day-to-day management ended up accelerating the program and pushed the two men to end their collaboration.

The months that followed were tense between the two protagonists. In August 2022, their quarrels led Aulas to ask the Commercial Court of Lyon to freeze €14.5 million on OL's accounts. An action that has disrupted the transfer window of the club, which now finds itself in a more than critical sporting situation (bottom of the table, 10 points).

This Sunday, John Textor and Jean-Michel Aulas appeared together in the stands of Groupama Stadium for the reception of Toulouse (1st home win of the season). This image of unity was followed the next day by the announcement of an agreement between the two parties. This deal provides for the purchase of a third of the shares still held in the club by the former OL president, while Aulas and Holnest have committed "to reciprocally withdraw from the various procedures and actions underway between the parties".