The crisis between Marseille’s management and fans left Longoria on the brink of resignation


In the absence of officiality of resignation of Asturian coach Marcelino García Toral, the crisis of leadership among fans of Olympique de Marseille He is also about to take the president of the entity, Pablo Longoria.

This Tuesday, ‘L’Équipe’ and ‘Le Parisien’ will tell the ins and outs of umpteenth internal dispute of a club thirsty for titles and recognition that boasts of being the only Frenchman to win the Champions League (1993).

A tense meeting on Monday night between representatives of various fan groups and Longoria served to exacerbate the accusations rather than bring the positions closer, the two newspapers reported.

According to ‘L’Équipe’, which provided the most details, the fan frenzy It goes beyond the sporting performance (two wins and three draws in the League and elimination from the Champions League access stage with consequent access to the Europa League).

The representative of the South Winners fan group, Rachid Zeroual, He accused Longoria of favoring old friends, referring to the signing of Marcelino, and the dismissal of youth from the quarry in favor of outside players.

Zeroual, who spoke on behalf of 27,000 subscribers, also criticized the management of the squad, with constant changes of coaches and departures of key players in recent seasons. (Steve Mandanda, Mattéo Guendouzi, Dimitri Payet or Alexis Sánchez).

So, according to the sports newspaper, the speaker demanded the resignation of the Spanish clan: the director of football, Javier Ribaltafrom the general director, Pedro Iriondo, and himself Longoria. The departure of the person responsible for administration and finance was also requested, Stephane Tessier.

In this vitiated environment, in addition to Marcellin -whose departure is assumed by the same media outlets, although the club has not yet confirmed it-, Longoria will think of throwing in the towel and then rectifying it, ‘L’Équipe’ detailed.

The 37-year-old Spanish executive even spoke on the phone with the club’s owner, the American investor. Frank McCourt, which purchased the entity in 2016.

It was published in France that the trigger for Longoria to think about resigning was the death threats published against him, a point that still has to be confirmed.

This new institutional earthquake reminds of January 2021, when, after a streak of four consecutive defeatsa group of radicals attacked the Commanderie training center to terrorize the players, an episode that led to the departure of the then president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, who was replaced in office in February 2021 by Longoria, who became Marseille’s sports director in 2020.

The fans’ discomfort comes from afar. In a championship dominated last decade by PSG’s petrodollars (eight titles in ten years; only Monaco and Lille have broken that hegemony), Marseille played the role of trooper.

Although it has second biggest budget in Ligue 1 (250 million euros, at the same level as Lyon), has not raised a win since 2012, when it won two minor trophies: the Super Cup and the defunct League Cup. Their last great success was the 2010 League championship.

In a club with a huge tradition in France – they won their first League in 1937 and the Cup in 1924 – lived through its golden years under the leadership of Bernard Tapie (who graduated to ‘Champions’ in 1993), its passionate fans demanding results without further delay.

If Marcelino’s departure is confirmed, the French press reported that Jean-Pierre Papin (Marseille legend and Ballon d’Or winner in 1991) will lead the team, where two high-profile clashes await this week. On Thursday in Amsterdam before the Ajax (Europa League) and on Sunday in Paris against PSG.

Source: La Verdad


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