Football: “Resign, otherwise it’s war”, OM president Pablo Longoria believes that “the limits have been exceeded”

“In 2023, a leader of any club cannot endure these threats,” denounces Pablo Longoria, the president of Olympique Marseille, in the middle of the tornado before facing Paris SG this Sunday.

Pablo Longoria, withdrawing from the presidency of OM, assured Thursday in the daily La Provence that he had not resigned, but judged that “the limits (had) been exceeded” during a very tense meeting Monday with representatives of supporter groups.

“What happened on Monday is unacceptable. (…) What happened is the consequence of things that have been happening for a long time. The limits have been exceeded,” declared the Spanish leader in a long interview, during from which he also assured that he was “naturally” still the president of the Ligue 1 club and that he had not offered his resignation to owner Frank McCourt.

In the hours following Monday’s meeting, the entire OM management took a step back and none of the club’s main leaders are present in Amsterdam, where the Provençal club will face Ajax on Thursday. Coach Marcelino, a close friend of Longoria, has left the club.

I wasn’t scared, but I was shocked, I don’t think it’s normal.

“I was able to speak for two minutes, then I was cut off and it got out of control very quickly… We were told: ‘Resign all four (Longoria, football director Javier Ribalta, general manager Pedro Iriondo and financial director Stéphane Tessier), otherwise it’s war,” Longoria said.

There will be a before and an after of these confidences from Pablo Longoria.

But the truth must be revealed about everything that is happening behind the scenes, if the club FINALLY wants to move forward.

OM must emerge from this storm stronger. Not the opposite…

— ???????? ??????? (@Vincent_1393) September 21, 2023

“The limits have been exceeded. In 2023, a manager of any club cannot endure these threats. I do not accept them. I was not afraid, but I was shocked, I consider that this is not “It’s not normal,” he added. The president of OM also dismissed any accusation of “cronyism” and financial embezzlement.

“To protect myself, I had to ask the McCourt group (owner of the club, editor’s note) to audit all our operations by an independent firm, to demonstrate that we were transparent. I gave all my bank accounts, my telephones , my emails, everything… It came out that we were clean!”, he explained.

Impossible to work with the current status quo

“I represent an institution. I have a mandate given by the owner and the supervisory board. I must assume my responsibilities,” he also said. But, he also estimated, it is “impossible to work with the current status quo” and it is necessary that “all those who love the club move in a direction which makes it become a football club which, while keeping its DNA, can function with a minimum of normality.

For their part, leaders of support groups denied Wednesday to AFP any death threat or request for resignation from Marcelino, and asked to meet club owner Frank McCourt. In 2021, the anger of the supporters took away Jacques-Henri Eyraud, Longoria’s predecessor.

But the context today is completely different, Longoria retaining a good popularity rating with a large part of Marseille supporters.

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