President Pablo Longoria on “impossible” Marseille crisis and fan threats to his family

Speaking to local newspaper La Provence, Marseille president Pablo Longoria discussed his views on the ongoing crisis at the club that has seen coach Marcelino forced out after just seven games in charge and Longoria receive threats from fans.

Fan unrest peaked this week at a heated meeting between supporter groups and club staff who were reportedly threatened by ultras during proceedings. Longoria said staff should be prepared to handle criticism but underlined that it’s “not normal” for a manager to be threatened, adding that he couldn’t accept the view that ‘it’s just like that at Marseille’. As a result, he and his team decided that, in the current conditions, it was “impossible to work”.

Longoria and three other leading directors reportedly offered their resignations as a result, which were rejected by American owner Frank McCourt, although the OM president tells the paper he did not try and walk away. Longoria, however, did state that fans accused him of making illicit revenue from the club’s transfer business, which pushed him to prove his innocence via an audit conducted by the McCourt Group, to which he gave “my bank accounts, my phones, my emails, everything… even private conversations with my mother.”

The Spaniard explained, although the audit showed no wrong doing, that comments were “made about my family” that were “based on causing fear,” which has been a regular occurrence in recent months, he claimed, adding: “It started with insinuations and progressed to threats.”

The situation remains murky, with other directors reportedly leaving the area after offering their resignations and no sight of a new coaching appointment anytime soon. Marseille travel to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the Europa League tonight.

Adam White | GFFN

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