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Liverpool owners FSG submit proposal to buy French outfit Bordeaux

Gerard Lopez

News of developments concerning a potential purchase of French outfit FC Girondins de Bordeaux by Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) hit the UK today.

A potential deal between the American investors and Bordeaux owner Gerard Lopez (pictured) has been worked on for some time, but had been kept heavily under wraps. Up until today, reports in France had previously only referred to the mystery party interested as buying the club as being an ‘American investment fund, already established in sport and supported by one of the largest family funds in the world.’

Bordeaux is currently playing in Ligue 2, the second tier of French football, after being relegated from Ligue 1 in recent years. In June 2022, Bordeaux were relegated to the third tier due to financial problems, although they appealed that decision.

The club has been under scrutiny from the DNCG (Direction Nationale du Contrôle de Gestion), French football’s financial watchdog, and has been hit with various sanctions. In January 2024, the DNCG imposed restrictions on the French club’s wage bill and transfer budget. These restrictions limit Bordeaux’s ability to sign new players or increase wages, impacting their competitiveness.

In 2021, Lopez reached a deal to rescue Bordeaux from bankruptcy after previous owner King Street pulled out, but today’s ongoing financial constraints imposed by the DNCG have left Lopez desperate to find a solution and this opens the doors for sharks to try and capitalise on the struggling club’s situation.

When FSG were circling Anfield during Liverpool’s serious financial problems of 2010, FSG chief John W Henry wrote in an email to his partners: ‘I don’t want to say this beyond this small group, but if we could acquire this (Liverpool Football Club) for the debt, I really feel like we would be stealing this franchise.’

Bordeaux is in a precarious financial position, facing further restrictions from French football authorities and struggling to regain their former status in French football. FSG recently appointed Michael Edwards to oversee the purchase of another football club for their multi-club operation moving forward and Bordeaux could prove a shrewd purchase. Reports in France state that Henry along with FSG technical director Julian Ward have been in France working on the potential purchase.

Although hacks that focus exclusively on LFC have previously suggested that FSG would more than likely target a South American football club, KOPTALK has always maintained that Henry and Co. wanted a European outfit.

We understand that an informal offer has been made to Lopez which includes an initial pledge of €42 million to enable Bordeaux to compete in Ligue 2 next season. However, there has been no formal offer or official deal struck as yet. It is likely that if a deal is finalised, that Lopez will remain at the club as a minority shareholder.

Former Liverpool midfielder Albert Riera was appointed manager of Bordeaux in 2023. He was previously a player for them between 2003 and 2005.

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