Pablo Longoria to remain Marseille president after talks with club owner Frank McCourt

It’s a day of open crisis at Olympique de Marseille. Yesterday, the club’s top brass convened with representatives of Marseille’s fan groups for a meeting that turned “extremely tense“, according to a report from RMC Sport. Les Phocéens’ supporters reportedly criticized the club’s sporting policy as well as the style of football proposed by head coach Marcelino. They also asked for the resignation of club president Pablo Longoria. The Spanish executive and the head coach worked together at Valencia CF.

L’Equipe and RMC Sport both reported this Tuesday that Marcelino had announced his departure to his players after only seven competitive games in charge. Although Marseille are unbeaten and third in the Ligue 1 standings, all is not as well as it seems. Les Phocéens have failed to book their ticket for the Champions League’s group stage in losing to Panathinaikos in the third stage of qualifying. Marseille also displayed tepid performances in the league, the last of which was a dour home stalemate against Toulouse on Sunday.

Eurosport España and RMC Sport later reported today that Longoria could also depart after receiving threats from supporters during Monday’s crunch talks. However, L’Equipe’s Marseille-based correspondent Mathieu Grégoire adds that the Spaniard spoke with Marseille’s American owner Frank McCourt to announce him he would not resign from his post, although he considered this very outcome as early as last night.

Local outlet La Provence also understands that Longoria was “scarred” since this Monday evening meeting with the fans’ representatives. The Spaniard also reportedly admitted on Sunday he had made a mistake by appointing his close friend Marcelino in the Vélodrome dugout.

What about Marcelino then? La Provence does not go as far as saying that the Spaniard will leave immediately. The local outlet understands that the former Valencia CF coach has no intention to resign. However, he reportedly hinted to a Marseille player that his presence would be meaningless in the event that Longoria leaves. La Provence reports that a crisis meeting is currently underway at the club’s training center.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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