Credit: Romain Perrocheau/Imago/PA Images

Investment firm RedBird Capital Partners has confirmed the takeover of recently relegated Ligue 1 side Toulouse FC from Olivier Sadran, with the US company securing an 85 per cent majority stake in the club.

Talks between RedBird and Sadran were revealed back in May with the club suffering relegation to Ligue 2 after the professional French football calendar was cancelled due to the global health pandemic. Sadran has officially stepped down from his current role as majority owner and club president, however, he will retain a 15 per cent stake in Toulouse and remain an active member of its Board of Directors. 

Gerry Cardinale, Founder and Managing Partner of RedBird Capital Partners stated: “We are proud and excited to help write the next chapter of Toulouse FC and realise its tremendous potential.

“We are committed to building a sustainable, long-term foundation for the club’s success by enhancing its on-field sporting performance, business operations and contributions to its community.  We look forward to working closely with Olivier, the City of Toulouse and the Occitanie Region to return Toulouse FC to an elite level and elevate the entire city of Toulouse through its long-term success.”

As part of the takeover Toulouse have also announced the appointment of Damien Comolli as the club’s new President. The Frenchman has held a variety of senior management positions across clubs in Europe such as Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, and Saint-Étienne.

In his new role at Toulouse, Comolli will be responsible for overseeing the overall management of the club, including all sporting activities.

Comolli commented: “I am thrilled and honoured to lead Toulouse FC as its new president. Toulouse is an extraordinary city with a football club that has the opportunity and ability to succeed.  We recognise the unique talent this city has and plan to commit continued focus towards youth development throughout the region.

“The club has great potential and I am looking forward to working with our players, staff and RedBird to execute upon our plan to build a stronger future for the club.”

Sadran added, “I welcome Gerry and RedBird as new partners in an organization and a city that are big parts of my life. I am also pleased that RedBird has brought Damien to Toulouse as a key member of our leadership team. Damien is a well-respected colleague in the football world.  

“After getting to know Gerry, Damien and the team at RedBird, I am confident that together we have the energy, expertise and resources to take the club to the next level. I look forward to working alongside them and sharing the pleasure of winning.”

RedBird is also an investor in premium hospitality company On Location Experiences, which is part owned by the NFL, and the YES Network, a regional sports network which has local rights to New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets fixtures. Additionally the firm has teamed up with NFL and MLB player’s associations to create athlete marketing company OneTeam Partners.