Like the TFC in 2020, Strasbourg spent this summer under the American flag, with its takeover by the BlueCo consortium. Another case of timeshare in football, which is not without its share of questions.
This afternoon at La Meinau, the “Blue and White” of Strasbourg will face the Violets of the TFC. But this match will also be that of the Blues of BlueCo against the Reds of RedBird Capital Partners. After Le Havre in 2015, Olympique de Marseille in 2016, Toulouse FC in 2020 and Olympique Lyonnais in 2022, RCSA became the fifth Ligue 1 club to go under the American flag this summer. BlueCo is a consortium of various players, including Todd Boehly and Mark Walter, owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, and contributor to the capital of the Los Angeles Lakers; RedBird owns AC Milan and invests (via Fenway Sports Group) in Liverpool FC and Boston Red Socks (baseball).
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Importantly, BlueCo, which also includes Clearlake Capital, one of the world’s largest investment funds, owns Chelsea. Since its arrival in 2022, the consortium with disproportionate means has been blowing a wind of madness over West London, with more than a billion euros spent on the transfer market. Even if it is still too early to say what long-term strategy BlueCo will put in place with the RCSA, we have already observed a notable difference between the Alsatian club and the TFC, whose method is well identified and identifiable.
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While Toulouse President Damien Comolli uses data to, among other things, reduce recruitment costs as much as possible, Strasbourg has dropped nearly 55 million euros on the transfer window this summer; it is more than what Mark Keller (who has retained his post of president) and the shareholders of Strasbourg had spent in eleven years, since the takeover of the club in CFA.
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As to whether the RCSA will benefit from its proximity to Chelsea in terms of recruitment, only one player has traveled between London and Alsace: the Brazilian Angelo, on loan, “whom Racing could never have attracted without his new financial means but which had already been followed for two years “slips a close friend of the club. At the TFC, there is no question of collusion with Milan, even less since the UEFA investigation into the participation of the Haut-Garonne club in the Europa League.
This is one of the t___ questions that timeshare cases will pose in the years to come. Last spring, the TFC fell through the cracks of UEFA regulations (which prohibit two clubs under the same owner from competing in the same European competition) after all RedBird members resigned from the board. of the club. A few weeks later, Nupes-LFI deputy Eric Coquerel, chairman of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, launched a series of preparatory hearings for a bill limiting the multi-ownership of football clubs.
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Pending legislation, or conversely, the creation of European leagues of different levels with a club of each holder at each level (a hypothesis that seems less and less illusory), the Americans of Strasbourg and Toulouse are discreet . We don’t read them in the press, any more than we see them at the stadium. It was planned that representatives of BlueCo would come to the Meinau for the first match of the season, but Chelsea were playing against Liverpool… Beyond the fears that the supporters may have in the face of the management, or in the face of the perversion of popular culture of the club – which for once is not at work in Toulouse – it is also one of the aspects of timeshare: growing, but remaining in the shadow of a giant.