The Châteauroux football club (National, 3rd division) will be sold by Saudi Prince Abdallah ben Moussaed to a French businessman, Benjamin Gufflet, AFP learned from a source close to the matter on Wednesday.
The United World investment fund, which also controls the Sheffield United club in the English Premier League, has entered into exclusive negotiations with the Stratton Oakmont Sports holding company, headed by Gufflet, who is also president of US Dax, in Pro D2 rugby, as revealed by the daily La Nouvelle République.
The buyer will still have to provide some guarantees and the Professional Football League (LFP) will have to give its approval to the transaction, but the disengagement of the Saudis, who arrived with great fanfare two and a half years ago, raises a wave of optimism in Berry, is inevitable.
In addition to Sheffield, United World also controls the Belgian D2 club Beerschot VA, Kerala United (Indian D4) and Al-Hilal United (Emirati D2). When United World arrived in March 2021, Châteauroux was bottom of L2 and was unable to avoid relegation. After an encouraging season (5th) in National the following year, Berrichonne only finished 11th last season.
Currently, the Castelroussins are 14th with 2 wins, 6 draws and 5 defeats in 13 days. They are only three points ahead of the first relegated team, Nancy. In addition to the sporting emergency, the new owner will find burning files on his desk, the club displaying poor financial health and having several legal disputes in progress.
Châteauroux had its moment of glory by reaching the elite in 1997, but for only one season. He then played in a Coupe de France final lost against Paris SG (0-1) in 2004, which allowed him to face Club Bruges in the first round of the UEFA Cup (C3) the season of afterwards, for a severe elimination (0-4, 1-2).