John Textor says he spent twice what he expected for Botafogo. In an interview with the French newspaper “L’Equipe”, in which he spoke mainly about the purchase of Lyon shares, the American businessman also spoke about his investments in other clubs. In the case of Brazil, Textor stated that he got carried away with the process and even signed players he didn’t need.
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– At Botafogo, I have already spent twice what was asked of me. When you start making decisions for a team, if you see that 10 or 20 million you can go higher, you fall in love with the process and spend more than you planned. This went viral in Brazil and I’m spending a lot more. And I took players I didn’t need (laughs).
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The sole owner of 90% of the shares of SAF do Botafogo, John Textor has a different share than the other clubs that participate in the American businessman’s platform. Here, he is the one who leads the changes, mainly in the administrative style, since before it was an association that took care of internal affairs.
To be the majority partner of the alvinegra company, the American has committed to pay at least R$ 400 million over a period of three years. In 2022 alone, SAF has already received BRL 150 million of this amount. The other installments are for the next few years. Club and businessman also agreed on a minimum level of football payroll.
– Look what I did at the Crystal Palace. You don’t usually see much of it. I went to the matches, people thanked me. I helped at the base, with transfers, I brought new energy. It will be the same in Lyon. I bring my love for football and financial resources. I’m more behind than in front of the stage. Except in Botafogo, where I am solely responsible. There, I changed everything because it was an association that ran the club. There was nothing. Interim positions, the grass was not cut, the coach was fighting with the referees…
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Textor reveals having spent twice as much as initially planned for Botafogo — Photo: Vitor Silva/Botafogo
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As part of the purchase of Lyon shares, Textor had to take out a loan of almost R$3 billion with Holding Cannae. According to Cannae’s late-June statement, the Lyon transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022, and part or all of the credit facility can then be converted into shares in Eagle Football, Textor’s own company. of the network of football clubs.
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– To win the competition, I had to show that we had money available. The quickest way to do that was to take out a line of credit from a group called the Cannae Holding Company, which was linked to Mr. Foley. I pledged all my Botafogo, Crystal Palace and Molenbeek assets, as well as other personal assets, to secure the loan. That’s why I’m the majority owner. We needed that financing plan to do the deal. It’s the same for all major acquisitions, as it was for Chelsea. We’re not going into debt at Lyon, that’s the most important thing.
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