The owner of Olympique de Marseille since 2016, American Frank McCourt, released a statement explaining what has happened at the French club in recent days. McCourt calls for changes and regrets Marcelino’s departure from the bench due to events with Marseille’s most radical ultras.
This is what the statement says:
“For the last seven years, I have had the privilege of owning and managing Olympique de Marseille, one of the most iconic and exciting sports clubs in the world. I am proud of what we have achieved, especially in the last few years, under the leadership of Pablo Longoria, and that is why I wanted to respect his desire to speak publicly and tell the truth. I would also like to thank all the talented employees who work on and off the field to strengthen this organization.
The meeting between the OM board and representatives of fan groups on Monday should have been an opportunity to come together to defend the club’s interests. Instead, there was an alarming display of aggression, with OM board members receiving threats of violence.
Given this situation, I fully support Pablo Longoria and we are working to determine the best course of action for the club and its members. Supporting the OM board, the employees and the players, who are the guarantors of the continued success of our club, is and remains my top priority. This support includes ensuring their safety and a healthy environment conducive to victory.
The situation that occurred on Monday and led to the resignation of Marcelino and his staff is unacceptable and, unfortunately, is not the only example of behavior contrary to the mission of our association. Our goal is to win locally, unite and inspire the people of Marseille. Monday’s incident is just one of many that are undermining the foundations and functioning of the club and making it significantly more difficult to achieve our goals.
Our management at OM has taught us that profound changes are necessary to give the club a real chance to develop in the long term without obstacles. This change requires strong collective support within and outside of OM. Only change will allow OM to retain its identity while continuing to build a club of the caliber that our fans and the city of Marseille deserve.
Let us all stand united behind Olympique de Marseille, starting with the important game this afternoon in Amsterdam.