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New AFC Bournemouth owner Bill Foley set to purchase FC Lorient

New Bournemouth owner Bill Foley is in talks to buy Ligue 1 club FC Lorient, according to investigative journalist Romain Molina.

Foley’s partnership recently completed the purchase of Bournemouth after receiving Premier League approval.

They bought the Cherries for £120 million, but the deal was subject to ratification from the league’s board. The purchase means that half of the Premier League clubs now have American shareholders.

Foley wants to run a multi-club model akin to Red Bull and intends to purchase a club in France or Belgium to launch his multi-club network.

He has set his sights on Lorient and is in talks to buy the club. Les Merlus are overachieving and sit fifth in the league after narrowly escaping relegation last season.

The multi-club system has gained notoriety recently. Many American owners are purchasing several clubs to help develop players. Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 have been a target for investment.

Marseille and Toulouse have owners from the United States, while Red Star FC, Nancy and Troyes are part of multi-club networks. 

Crystal Palace chief John Textor is in talks to purchase Olympique Lyonnais. The report also states that Foley was part of John Textor’s bid to buy Lyon.

However, Foley has decided to go his way and purchase his own Ligue 1 club.

Chelsea’s new co-owner Todd Boehly recently praised the multi-club model. The LA Dodgers boss also explained why many owners are using this model.

“We have talked about having a multi-club model,” he said at the SALT Conference in New York. “I would love to continue to build out the footprint. There are different countries where there are advantages to having a club.

“Red Bull does a really good job at Leipzig, and they have got Salzburg, both of which are playing in the Champions League, so they’ve figured out how to make that work. You have Man City, which has a very big network of clubs.”

“The challenge Chelsea has, when you have 18, 19, 20-year-old stars, you can loan them out to clubs, but you hand their development to someone else.

“Our goal is to ensure we show pathways for our young stars to get onto the Chelsea pitch —while getting them real game time.

“The way to do that is through another club in a really competitive league in Europe.”

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