France news

Aulas upbeat despite UCL defeat

August 29, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said he believes the club's future will be bright in "four or five years" as he took stock after the Champions League exit play-off exit to Real Sociedad.

Ligue 1
AssociatedAulas has a long-term vision for the club.

A 2-0 second-leg defeat in San Sebastian on Wednesday brought a comprehensive 4-0 aggregate defeat.

But with Lyon due to move to a new 61,000-seat Stade des Lumieres home and reshaping their team, selling experienced players such as Michel Bastos and Lisandro Lopez and basing the future on home-grown talent, Aulas told RMC he was not downcast.

He said: "We need two or three years to get to the level of coherent Spanish clubs. You have to be humble when you lose and know that it is always helpful for the future.

"As I said to the players before leaving, is it better to be among the best teams in the Europa League or the less good ones in the Champions League? I opt -- and, in any case, we didn't qualify -- for the second.

"Our team had 14 players who had come out of the youth academy. They're all internationals in the senior, Under-21 and Under-19 teams. There's a transition to see through, and I'm not certain that, behind Monaco and PSG, the places are already sorted out in the league.

“In two years, the clubs who won't have the resources of their own stadium won't be able to continue. We'll have to be ready when the time comes, and we have made the choice to be ready in four or five years."

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