Pierre Gasly

Formula 1 News: Gasly invests in French Football (Soccer) Club

(GMM) Pierre Gasly buying into French football team FC Versailles is not just a token gesture, the club’s president insists.

Last year, when a spate of celebrities were the public faces of similar investments at the Alpine F1 team, for whom Gasly drives, many dismissed the celebrities’ involvement as symbolic or just for marketing value.

Now, as it emerges that Frenchman Gasly has bought a share of FC Versailles, which currently plays in France’s third-tier football league, some suspect it’s also mainly a token gesture.

But the club’s president Alexandre Mulliez, says Gasly has bought in with a significant investment.

“He owns the club at the same level as me and Fabien (Lazare),” Mulliez told RMC Sport. “He asked us not to say the amount, but it is significant.

“It is not 3 or 4 percent.”

However, Mulliez does admit he hopes Gasly’s high profile involvement helps to “promote the club”, for example by helping to attract a Netflix-style documentary deal.

“We made a list of around 20 people – athletes, actors, musicians,” he admitted. “At the top of the list was Pierre because I am a fan of F1 and I wanted someone who could also support us on the subject of performance.

“Charles Leclerc’s brother put us in touch, we met two months ago and after 10 minutes, we knew that we were going to join forces.”

Mulliez says Gasly, 28, is also “a football fan”.

“He invests in companies and he wanted to bring his expertise in sport and his notoriety to help a club grow. He was looking for a long-term project, not to partner with a club that will grow and be sold,” he added.

“I hope to be there forever and we share the same values, the same principles. So he thought it might be fun.”

The third tier of the French football league is not professional, so Mulliez reveals that a higher profile and Gasly’s advice could help the club to move up to the second division – Ligue 2.

“We want to become pros, which means moving up to L2 in the next two years,” he said. “We have already recruited quite a bit because we took over a club that was not structured. 55 employees with the players.

“The goal is to perform while remaining small. We want to remain a family club.”

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