Olympique de Marseille are in the middle of a major management crisis, even by Les Phocéens’ standards. Despite an acceptable start to the Ligue 1 season with three draws and two wins, Spanish head coach Marcelino has handed in his resignation amidst heavy criticism from representatives of fan groups regarding his playing style and the current sporting policy in play at Marseille. The Spaniard’s departure has been made official this Wednesday.
The ongoing crisis started on Monday night during a meeting between four Marseille executives – Club president Pablo Longoria, Sporting director Javier Ribalta, Financial director Stéphane Tissier as well as club CEO and Strategy director Pedro Iriondo – and representatives of fan groups. The meeting occurred at OM’s training center and turned extremely tense with fans asking for the resignations of their interlocutors. An official statement, released on Tuesday night, mentioned the threat of “a war” waged by fans.
L’Equipe and local outlet La Marseillaise have revealed parts of the heated exchanges that occurred on Monday night. Such was the violence of the insult-ridden meeting that Longoria felt “threatened” by his interlocutors. “You four and your non-league coach, if you don’t leave, you’ll see!“, reportedly said a representative of fan groups. Another one, the very influential South Winners boss Rachid Zeroual, gave them an ultimatum of four games before leaving the club entirely.
Hervé Poutet, president of Handifan Club OM, denied the involved four Marseille executives had received death threats. However, they were told: “Sod off, go and pack your bags. We don’t want to see you anymore.” The four Marseille executives have since taken the decision to temporarily step back from their roles.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval