Marseille owner Frank McCourt denounces threats of violence directed towards club’s hierarchy and calls for “profound change”

Speaking in an official press release, Olympique de Marseille owner Frank McCourt has denounced the supporters groups’ threats of violence towards the club’s hierarchy. 

On Monday, a meeting between the club’s hierarchy, consisting of President Pablo Longoria, Sporting director Javier Ribalta, Financial director Stéphane Tissier as well as club CEO and Strategy director Pedro Iriondo and the club’s supporters groups took place at Marseille’s training complex. McCourt said the meeting “should have been the chance to defend the interests of the club.” However, he reveals that “it transformed into an alarming demonstration of aggression, with members of the club’s hierarchy subjected to threats of violence.” 

In the wake of the meeting, Marcelino resigned from his position as Marseille manager. The Spaniard, who only oversaw seven matches with Les Phocéens, has said that “intimidation, threats, insults and slander forced him out of the role. Jacques Abardonado will take charge in the interim and faces the difficult task of getting a result in the Europa League against Ajax on Thursday night.

“Only change will allow OM to keep its identity” – Frank McCourt

Longoria has also temporarily stepped back from his role as president and in an in-depth interview with La Provence, detailed the threats that he has faced from the club’s supporters. McCourt has now supported his President. “In the face of this situation, I strongly support Pablo Longoria and we endeavour to determine the best path to take for the club and the members of his team.”

The situation on Monday, which brought about the resignation of Marcelino and his staff is unacceptable and unfortunately, it is not the only example of behaviour that goes against the mission of our club. It is just one of many incidents that undermine the foundations and the functioning of the club, making the realisation of our objectives a lot more difficult,” McCourt continued. 

McCourt concluded his statement by calling for change at the club. “Our management of OM has taught us that we need profound change to give the club a real chance of developing, without hindrance, over the long term. This change needs a strong collective effort, inside and outside of OM. Only change will allow OM to preserve its identity by continuing to construct a club of the stature that our fans and the city of Marseille deserve.”

GFFN | Luke Entwistle


More European Football News