Speaking in a press conference today, Marseille Head Coach André Villas Boas expressed his displeasure at President Jacques-Henri Eyraud’s decision to appoint Paul Aldridge, the former Director General of West Ham United who oversaw the infamous transfer of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez, as the club’s first ever Head of Selling Players to English Clubs, whose actual title is “advisor”.
“It was a decision taken by Jacques-Henri, which I learned of from [Sporting Director] Andoni (Zubizarreta) who was told on 30th December. It is up to the president to say why he has taken this decision. It is not by hiring an advisor that things are going to work (in terms of sales). It is the competitiveness of your team that can open certain doors in the English market or open up your network. I was surprised by this decision. I will not comment much more. If it helps Marseille survive on the economic aspect, then I understand. That aspect is more important this season than the footballing aspect. For me, the most important thing is to maintain this squad as a unit and to attain the objectives that I set for myself: Champions’ League football. This aim was not set for me by the club. I came here, one, because of the magnitude of the club. And two, for Zubi. I have said that my future is intimately linked to his future.”
“On the football side, in 6 months we’ve given stability to one of the most emotionally unstable clubs in the world with the press, with the fans. My interests as the manager is to hold on to this squad. If you listened carefully to Boubacar Kamara (who was in the press conference before AVB), his aim is to stay at Marseille. I come from Porto where players are not for sale… The only comment on this from the president is something that I have read not on our club website but in L’Équipe. I was not informed by the president about this decision. I respect, but if this decision goes against what I have done on the football side with Andoni in the last 6 months, then I am on Andoni’s side.”
Eyraud went on to receive a death threat later today from a fan following this press conference.