Marseille fans blast board's 'ruinous manegement'

Marseille (AFP) –


Supporters groups of French Ligue 1 club Marseille united on Monday in castigating the board for what they called "years of ruinous management".

In a joint statement they also criticised the system of refunds for seat-holders deprived of matches after the Ligue 1 season was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One option proposed by the American-owned club, which has qualified for next season's Champions League, was for ticket holders to forgo a refund and donate the money instead to help its finances.

"It seemed logical to us a month ago to give this money to the club to help it through a difficult period," the fans wrote.

"However information since then has led us to question this. It's clear that we are in financial difficulty due to years of ruinous management.

"It's easy to ask for financial support from fans...while at the same time the president is incapable of overseeing a dressing room with astronomical salary claims."

After listing further grievances the letter concluded: "For these reasons the option of letting the club have this money no longer seems to us the obvious thing to do.

"Is it really up to us to shore up the incompetence of our directors or the shortcomings of our players?

"Management get out! Come on Marseille!"

The fans' attack comes at a turbulent time for the 1993 European champions following the departure of coach Andre Villas-Boas's sporting director and right-hand man, Andoni Zubizarreta.

On Sunday club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud announced via social media his intention to hire a "business director" and his determination to build up the club despite all the current problems.

Last week Marseille said they had offered Villas-Boas a two-year contract extension amid widespread reports that the former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham coach is set to leave after just one season in charge.

Villas-Boas, who is popular with supporters, is not believed to have given Marseille his response yet.

Marseille last won the French title in 2010.