The Champions League

Marseille’s executives, including club president Pablo Longoria, step back after tense meeting with representatives of fan groups

L’Equipe and RMC Sport are reporting that Olympique de Marseille’s executives, namely club president Pablo Longoria, Sporting director Javier Ribalta, Financial director Stéphane Tissier as well as club CEO and Strategy director Pedro Iriondo, have taken the extraordinary decision to temporarily step back from their roles.

It was a Tuesday of open crisis at the Vélodrome following an “extremely tense” meeting on Monday evening between Longoria, Ribalta, Tissier, Iriondo and several representatives of Marseille’s fan groups. The fans 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 the four Marseille executives who attended the meeting.

The future of the Spanish head coach is also reportedly up in the air. Marcelino, who oversaw just seven competitive games for Les Phocéens, is reportedly considering handing in his resignation in the event that Longoria, his close friend since their days together at Valencia, leaves Marseille.

OM released an official statement tonight, confirming members of the board were threatened with the imminence of “a war” against them should they not resign. “The OM Directory cannot accept personal threats”, the statement reads. “Its members cannot tolerate individual attacks and any form of unfounded public defamation. A relationship based on intimidation cannot guarantee the minimum acceptable conditions so that the club’s Executive Board can continue to invest in the transformation of OM.”

L’Equipe and RMC Sport are reporting that Longoria, Ribalta, Tissier and Iriondo have taken a step back from their roles as well as time for reflection in order to choose whether they leave or stay. The four Marseille executives won’t board the plane flying tomorrow to Amsterdam for OM’s Europa League opener against AFC Ajax.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval


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