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NWSL’s Reign to be sold to Olympique Lyonnais owners

Utah Royals v Seattle Reign

TACOMA, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 25: The Sun sets during the match between the Utah Royals FC and the Seattle Reign FC at Cheney Stadium on September 25, 2019 in Tacoma, Washington. The Seattle Reign FC top the Utah Royals FC 2-1. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

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The parent company of French soccer club Olympique Lyonnais is in exclusive talks to purchase Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.

The OL Groupe and the Reign announced the deal Monday and the transaction is expected to be completed on Jan. 31.

Olympique Lyonnais, more commonly known as Lyon, plays in Ligue 1 on the men’s side and Division 1 Feminine on the women’s side. Lyon has won six women’s Champions League titles.

Current Reign owners Bill and Teresa Predmore will retain a minority stake in Reign FC. Bill Predmore will serve as CEO of the team.

“Our ambition has always been to operate the best women’s football club in the world,” Bill Predmore said in a statement. “This is a distinction long held by OL, making them the perfect organization to help us achieve our long-term objectives for the club.”

Reign FC made the NWSL playoffs for the second straight season this year and coach Vlatko Andonovski was named the league’s Coach of the Year. Andonovski stepped down at the end of the season to become head coach of the U.S. women’s national team.

Lyon will also assume control of Reign Academy as part of the deal.

The Hanauer Family and Tacoma Soccer Ventures, investors in the Reign when the team moved to Tacoma last season, will no longer have an ownership stake. But the Reign will continue to play at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.