NWSL: Predmore, Reign FC in negotiations with OL Groupe to sell majority shares

Reign FC OL Groupe
CARY, NC — OCTOBER 20: Reign FC poses for their starting XI photo prior to a game between Reign FC and North Carolina Courage at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on October 20, 2019 in Cary, North Carolina. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

Tacoma, Washington — There have been questions surrounding Reign FC to why there has been almost radio-silence from their media team. Also, questions have been airing to why there are no offers to purchase season tickets yet. On Monday, a major announcement shook the NWSL and offered insight to those burning questions.

Reign FC has entered negotiations with the OL Groupe to sell majority shares of the club to the French-based group. The OL Groupe is the same company that owns Olympique Lyonnais, arguably the best women’s soccer club in Europe — and the world.

For months, fans have heard light chatter that Lyon wanted a stake in the NWSL. Now, that light chatter has become serious and negotiations are heading in all the right directions. According to Reign FC, the transaction is set to close before Jan. 31, 2020. That means that Reign FC will have new ownership in the 2020 season.

However, don’t expect to see an absence from former majority owner Bill Predmore.

As of now, as The Equalizer and Jeff Kassouf reported, Predmore is to remain Reign FC’s CEO. Also, according to Reign, Bill and his wife Teresa will “retain a minority stake in the club after the sale to OL Groupe has been completed.”

Just last season, Reign announced that the Tacoma Soccer Ventures and Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer owned minority stakes in the club. Now, those stakes are being sold to the OL Groupe.

The club will remain at Cheney Stadium for the upcoming season. However, with the Tacoma Soccer Ventures no longer being minority owners, Reign FC will be there as “tenants.”

How did this Happen?

What’s going to happen with this move? Is there a chance that Reign FC will relocate? How much influence is going to happen from France to the United States?

These are all good questions. However, they are ones that can’t be answered yet. The transaction is not completed yet, but Predmore opened up in an exclusive interview with The Equalizer about how this transaction happened and why it occurred.

Predmore told The Equalizer that investments are a new standard for the quality of a club. Reign FC has “historically” been a leader in the league in investment, according to Predmore.

“… We didn’t want that to slip,” Predmore said, via The Equalizer. “We feel there was literally no better buyer on the planet than OL. They obviously have been deeply committed to women’s soccer. Of anybody going forward, they would sort of best share our passion and commitment and devotion [to the team].”

In a press release from the Reign, Predmore said that Reign FC’s ambition is to operate the best women’s football club in the world.

“This is a distinction long held by OL, making them the perfect organization to help us achieve our long-term objectives for the club,” Predmore said.

Meanwhile, Predmore said that he plans to be heavily involved with Reign FC still. As mentioned, Predmore is still being retained as the club’s CEO. It’s a smart move for Lyon, who will be new to the NWSL and need veteran leadership to guide them through the league.

“Teresa and I are proud of what the organization has accomplished over the past seven years and believe these efforts have created a strong foundation for the club’s future success,” Predmore said. “That said, we know that there remains much work to do to realize our dreams and aspirations for the club.”

What’s Next? 

The transaction needs to be complete. Right now, both parties are on the right track to complete the sale. There are plenty of questions arising from Reign FC fans and more than likely the players

Once the dust settles, Lyon will be there to answer the questions.

 

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