OL Groupe announced on Thursday that the sale of 52.91% of Olympique Lyonnais Féminin to Michele Kang – the owner of the Washington Spirit in the NWSL – is complete. Kang is now officially the majority owner and president of the club in Lyon, while Vincent Ponsot will serve as the club's CEO.
Kang recently also acquired London City Lionesses, an independent English second-tier women’s soccer club.
While the sale of OL Feminin to Kang is finally complete, OL Groupe's sale of Seattle Reign is close but hasn't yet crossed the finish line. In a press release announcing the French club's sale, OL Groupe confirmed that it "is pursuing its project to sell its stake in OL Reign (renamed Seattle Reign FC) and will communicate in due course on this matter."
NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman was in Portland earlier this week to introduce the new ownership group for the Thorns and was asked whether she had any updates on the Reign sale. She confirmed that the league didn't have an update that was much different than the one she provided before the NWSL College Draft.
At the time of the draft, Berman said, "It is our hope and expectation that it will be closing in the short term and imminent future. When we have something to share we will, but we're still actively working on it and optimistic it will be soon."
This week, Berman again confirmed that it is still on track and moving forward. Reporter Taylor Vincent was on site in Portland and shared Berman's update, where the commissioner said, "We're working hard to bring it to close as soon as we possibly can. We know that there is urgency and we know that people want it done as quickly as possible and we're working toward that. Our priority will always be to make sure we get to the right result."
As the sale works toward completion, Seattle Reign is settling into preseason. The Reign announced four new signings in the last two weeks – Julia Lester, Ji So-yun, Angharad James, and Lily Woodham. The club wraps up their trip to Costa Rica this weekend and will return to Starfire Sports Complex next week – becoming the primary tenant now that the Sounders have relocated to Longacres.
"It's really exciting for us because it's going to change the amount of space we have and the type of space we have," Reign general manager Lesle Gallimore told Ride of the Valkyries earlier this year. "It will professionalize this club exponentially in a really, really short period of time. From performance, medical, locker room, meals, it's all just going to be much, much better than it's been, and we're only going to go forward from there."
Before their flight home, the Reign will face off against the Costa Rica women's national team on Friday, Feb. 9. The match kicks off at 6 PM PT. If a livestream becomes available, Ride of the Valkyries will post a gamethread here and in Discord for paid subscribers.