Ligue 1: Gerard Lopez comes to rescue for Bordeaux

The dire financial situation at Ligue 1 club Girondins de Bordeaux is set to be resolved. Ex-Lille owner Gerard Lopez has reached an agreement to stop Bordeaux from the brink of receivership.  Bordeaux Commercial Court in April placed the club under its protection after US investment King Street dragged funding and continued financial crisis during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Bordeaux reportedly said that King Street denied supporting the club’s finances currently and also in the future. The Ligue 1 club has been saved after a deal was struck between Lopez and King Street and financial backer Fortress Investment Group. Bordeaux also posted a statement on Tuesday confirming that Lopez’s terms have met the expectations of the club’s financial advisor Rothschild & Co. and the agreement is set to get approval from Ligue 1’s National Directorate of Management Control.

King Street acquired the club in December 2019. After investing €46 million in the club, they decided to stop funding which eventually led to an economic crisis. Moreover, the pandemic had further weakened the club’s finances as French football saw a collapse of TV deal with Mediapro agency.

Lopez’s deal with Bordeaux marks the comeback of the former Lille owner to the Ligue 1. He sold Lille in December 2020 to Callisto Sporting, a division of Luxembourg-based investment fund Merlyn Partners. Lopez left Lille after the club riddled with a financial crisis due to huge debt. The business borrowed €225 million from the US investment fund Elliott Management during his initial months in charge. Bourdeaux will be hoping that they don’t face a similar outcome after the early promise shown by Lopez.

Bordeaux last won the league title in 2009 and this season they finished 12th in Ligue 1. On the contrary, Lille shocked world football as they won the Ligue 1 title and dethroned PSG, who have been dominating the league since last decade. 

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