The American owner of French football giant Marseille, Frank McCourt, has expressed his full support for the club's president, Pablo Longoria, amid recent turmoil.
Longoria had reportedly contemplated stepping down after an intense confrontation with fans that led to several club officials reconsidering their positions.
McCourt, who acquired the former Champions League-winning club in 2016, issued a statement, reaffirming his backing for Longoria and the entire management team. He referred to Monday's meeting with fan representatives as an "alarming demonstration of aggression."
In the statement released by the Ligue 1 club, McCourt stated, "Pablo Longoria has my unwavering support," emphasising that his top priority is to support the club's management, staff, and players, who are crucial to the club's ongoing success.
During the meeting with fan representatives, tensions escalated, with supporters allegedly calling for the resignation of Longoria and his management team, threatening "war" if their demands were not met. Longoria recounted the incident, explaining that he had spoken for only two minutes before things spiralled out of control.
Despite Marseille's unbeaten start to the new domestic season, fans expressed frustration over a lacklustre performance in a goalless draw against Toulouse. Additionally, the club's early exit from the Champions League, coupled with the departure of coach Marcelino Garcia Toral, added to the unrest among supporters.
Jacques Abardonado, a former player and youth coach at Marseille, was expected to lead the team in the Europa League match against Ajax following Marcelino's departure. Marseille also face a high-stakes clash with rival Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, adding to the pressure on the club amidst the crisis.