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Canal Plus to sell Paris St Germain to investors

PARIS, April 11 (Reuters) - Canal Plus said on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell Paris St Germain to a group of investors led by Colony Capital, Butler Capital Partners and Morgan Stanley.

Canal Plus, the pay-TV division of French media giant Vivendi, said it had sold the club, one of the traditional powers of French soccer but recently starved of silverware, for £27million.

'Its the first French club bought by investors but I can bet it's not the last,' Sebastien Bazin, Colony Capital's chairman in Europe, told a news conference.

'The new chairman will be Alain Cayzac, a long-time executive at the club and also a shareholder,' Canal Plus said in a statement.

'Alain Cayzac will be the real boss of the club,' Bazin added.

Cayzac, who sold his stake of under two percent in PSG to Canal Plus in July 2005 after failing to buy the club, takes over from Pierre Blayau.


He hinted current coach Guy Lacombe should stay in charge next season.

'This season's work has been outstanding,' said Cayzac. 'We need continuity and stability. So I come with Guy Lacombe, who is someone I appreciate. I come with him unless he does not want to work with me.'

Canal Plus, which bought the rights to broadcast Ligue 1 matches in 2004 for a record fee of £400million each year until 2007, has spent heavily on PSG over the last 15 years but the club has not won the French title since 1994.

They are eighth in the 20-team division with 50 points from 34 matches.

The capital side have failed to meet the expectations of their fans with only cup successes to celebrate in recent seasons and have also been tainted by the violent behaviour hooligans associated with them.

PSG have a long history of failing to get the best from talented players. Juventus and France striker David Trezeguet was judged not strong enough to play for the club while world and European footballer of the year Ronaldinho spent a lot of his time on the substitutes' bench before leaving for Barcelona.