Montpellier is owned by Laurent Nicollin, the son of the late Louis Nicollin, a French entrepreneur, who had been owner since 1974. The club have produced several famous players in its history, most notably Laurent Blanc, who has served as manager of the France national team. Blanc is also the club's all-time leading goalscorer. Eric Cantona, Roger Milla, Carlos Valderrama and Olivier Giroud are other players who have played in Montpellier's colours. In 2001, Montpellier introduced a women's team.
In the 2011–12 season, Montpellier won its first Ligue 1 title, finishing the season with 82 points, three points ahead of runners-up Paris Saint-Germain. On 20 May 2012, in a game marred by stoppages for crowd violence, John Utaka scored a brace to secure a 2–1 victory over Auxerre and win the Ligue 1 title for Montpellier.Olivier Giroud, who finished the season with 21 goals and 9 assists, was the league's top goal scorer. Despite being tied on goals with Paris Saint-Germain attacker Nenê, he was named the league's top scorer by the Ligue de Football Professionnel due to finishing with more goals in open play.