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American investor buys Ligue 2 Toulouse

American investment firm owner Gerry Cardinale on Monday completed the takeover of Toulouse, who finished bottom of Ligue 1 in the coronavirus-abbreviated French football season.

Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners bought 85% of the club and appointed much-travelled French football executive Damien Comolli as president. Outgoing president Olivier Sadran retained a 15% stake in the club. 

Sadran took over in 2001, when the club was in the third division. 

“We are determined to give the club a solid and lasting foundation that will lead it to success, by improving its sporting performance on the pitch and its management, and by further developing its contribution to the dynamism of the region,” said Cardinale in a statement.

Comolli, 47, has been an executive at Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, St Etienne and Fenerbahce. He was RedBird’s representative in France.

Toulouse becomes the ninth French club under foreign ownership capital after Paris Saint-Germain, Bordeaux, Marseille, Lille, Monaco and Nice  in Ligue 1 and Auxerre and Sochaux in Ligue 2. 

The amount of the transaction has not been disclosed. However, the daily newspaper l’Equipe recently reported a figure of 20 million euros ($22.9 million). 

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