US entrepreneur Kang takes over Lyon women's team
American entrepreneur Michele Kang has reached an agreement to become the new majority owner of leading French women's team Lyon, the parties announced in a statement on Tuesday.
The deal will see Lyon, perennial French champions and the record eight-time winners of the UEFA Women's Champions League, become part of a "multi-team women's football organisation" along with US side Washington Spirit, also owned by Kang.
"This deal represents a major step forward in the history of women's professional football," Kang said in a statement on Lyon's official website.
Lyon added that the deal remained subject to approval by the American National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and "various third-party approvals in France", but said it should be completed in June.
OL Groupe, the holding company which has owned the Lyon men's and women's sides, will retain a share in the new joint entity.
"Each club will retain its own established identity, respecting its heritage and community bases," the statement said of the two women's teams, adding that "a formal sale process" had begun for OL Reign, the NWSL side who have up to now been in Lyon's hands.
The move comes just a few months after Lyon, who have been French men's champions seven times, were bought by US businessman John Textor, who also owns Brazilian side Botafogo and has a share in Premier League club Crystal Palace.