Former L.A. Dodgers owner McCourt to buy Olympique de Marseille

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The former owner of the L.A. Dodgers baseball team, Frank McCourt, says he has entered negotiations to buy soccer club Olympique de Marseille.

Former L.A. Dodgers owner McCourt to buy Olympique de Marseille

SHOWS:

MARSEILLE, FRANCE (AUGUST 29, 2016) (ITELE – NO ACCESS FRANCE)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER L.A. DODGERS OWNER SET TO BUY OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE, FRANK MCCOURT, SAYING:

“This is a happy day. It’s a happy day for me and my family, I’m proud to say that Margarita and I just executed a contract for us to buy OM, the greatest club in the French league and one of the greatest clubs in the world.”

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER L.A. DODGERS OWNER SET TO BUY OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE, FRANK MCCOURT, SAYING:

“It’s a project that we’ll build together, and it has four parts. Number one, and most important, is we will build a championship calibre team, that is a team that can compete year-in and year-out for the championship.”

STORY: Frank McCourt, the former owner of U.S. baseball team the L.A. Dodgers, said on Monday (August 29) he had entered exclusive negotiations to buy French Ligue 1 soccer club Olympique de Marseille (OM), vowing to restore the team to its former glory.

Billionaire businesswoman Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, the Russian-born chairwoman of Louis Dreyfus Commodities trading house, said in April that she was looking for a buyer for Marseille.

“I’m proud to say that Margarita and I just executed a contract for us to buy OM, the greatest club in the French league and one of the greatest clubs in the world,” McCourt told a news conference alongside Louis-Dreyfus and Marseille mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin.

The deal is due to be completed by the end of the year, the two sides said. RMC Sport reported that the club had been sold for 40 million euros ($44.68 million).

Louis-Dreyfus took control of Marseille after the death of her husband Robert in 2009, but despite investing tens of millions of euros in recent years, they have struggled and finished 13th in Ligue 1 last season.

Marseille, who have French soccer’s biggest fan base, won the last of their nine league titles in 2010.

With Qatari investors buying arch-rivals Paris St Germain as well as Russian and Chinese investors ploughing funds into Nice, Monaco and Lyon, they have struggled to attract top players and financial investment to take the club forward.

McCourt, who sold the L.A. Dodgers in 2012 for $2 billion, said he aimed to bring his experience in sports’ ownership to turn the club’s fortunes around.

“We will build a championship calibre team, that is a team that can compete year-in and year-out for the championship,” McCourt said.

Tags : Marseille, Olympique, Mccourt, owner, Dodgers, La, former

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