Eight days after the ouster of Jean-Michel Aulas at the head of OL, the fate of its women's team, a true European reference, is officially fixed. A joint statement from YMK Holdings and OL Groupe formalizes the creation of "a global women's football group" chaired by American billionaire Michele Kang. The CEO of the American franchise of Washington Spirit was present Saturday in Orleans to lift the Cup of France won by Wendie Renard and her partners against PSG (2-1).

OL Groupe and Michele Kang form a global women's football group.

🗞️👉 https://t.co/epACRR67Z0 pic.twitter.com/X9TbVQgD38

— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) May 16, 2023

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"This agreement represents a major milestone in the history of women's professional football," Kang said in the statement. It brings together the unparalleled tradition of OL women, eight-time winners of the Champions League, and the dynamism of the Washington Spirit, NWSL champion in 2021, to usher in a new era in our sport. The complete alignment with this vision between OL Groupe's Board of Directors and the main players, including Jean-Michel Aulas, John Textor and myself, is particularly strong. It is a great honour for me to take charge of OL Women and to lead this unprecedented project. »

"Each club will retain its own identity"

This one will be closely scrutinized, as this women's section was the main sporting satisfaction of the last decade of the Aulas era in Lyon. Concretely, Michele Kang will be with YMK Holdings the majority shareholder and the president of this global women's football structure, "the first multi-club women's football organization owned and led by a woman". The statement issued on Tuesday said that in addition to Washington Spirit and OL, "the new organization aims to acquire additional clubs in other countries in Europe, America and Asia". Michele Kang, who will also join OL Groupe's Board of Directors, was unsurprisingly greeted by OL's new American boss John Textor.

"Today's agreement with Michele Kang creates the ideal vehicle to build Olympique Lyonnais' global brand and ensure an exciting future for OL Women," said the club owner. Aware of the doubts that could surround this transaction in Lyon, in the wake of the stupor related to the departure of JMA, the management of OL Groupe and YMK Holdings ensure this Tuesday that "each club will retain its own established identity, respecting its heritage and its community of supporters". We will have clues this summer in this direction, as Lyon will try to validate their tenth title of champions of France Sunday (21 hours) at the Parc des Princes.

  • Football
  • Sport
  • Women's football
  • Olympique Lyonnais (OL)
  • OL Women
  • Jean-Michel Aulas
  • Lyon
  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
  • Rhône-Alpes