Olympique de Marseille is opening a new chapter in its tumultuous history. Friday February 26, Frank McCourt, the American owner of the Marseille club since 2016, announced in a press release the ouster of President Jacques-Henri Eyraud, in favor of sports director Pablo Longoria, and the appointment of Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli.
Stuck in a sporting crisis and in a climate of deep mistrust with its supporters, the Marseille club upsets its organization chart. In a position that has become untenable in the face of popular protest, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, who joins the supervisory board, has been replaced by Pablo Longoria, only 34 years old, who was since August 2020, the discreet sports director of OM. A lightning rise for the one who worked in particular for Juventus (Italy) and FC Valencia (Spain).
The Marseille club also welcomes a new coach with the appointment of the Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli, 60, who is committed until June 2023. The latter, known for his impulsive and passionate nature, notably led the national selections of the Chile and Argentina but also Sevilla FC and more recently the Brazilian clubs of Santos and Atlético Mineiro.
He succeeds the Portuguese André Villas-Boas and Nasser Larguet who acted as interim. ” I’ve been told all my life that OM is a passion, said Jorge Sampaoli. (…) Marseille is a people’s club and I feel myself in this heat. (…) In the world, there are quiet places and intense places. These are the ones I want and I accepted without hesitation. “
These two strong decisions mark an energetic takeover of the American owner of OM. The latter has also assured that he is committed “Personally” to ensure that this new chapter “Be a real success”. Proof of his new investment, Franck McCourt announces that he will go to Marseille in the week to meet the supporters. “He will also meet business leaders, elected officials and representatives of public authorities, accompanied by members of the new club management team,” the club also announces.
“I am arriving in Marseille, and I am eager to share my vision for the future directly with supporters, especially with regard to development and investment projects for the next generations, explains the American billionaire who seems to be lasting despite the rumors of the club’s sale. In 2016, we launched an ambitious project to bring this club back to the top of French and European football and this commitment is still intact. “