Olympique de Marseille and its supporters groups confirmed on Friday the normalization of their relations after several weeks of crisis by announcing in a joint press release the establishment of a “new collaboration project” which should put the fans back at the heart of OM “.
Reconciliation in sight from the Canebière side. Friday March 19, 2021, OM and its groups of supporters announced in a joint statement that they wanted to establish a new relationship by putting fans at the heart of the project. In this text, the Provencal club announces “the establishment of bodies for regular consultation and discussion” as well as his intention to “associate the groups with the sporting life of the club” notably via invitations to training sessions or regular meetings with players and managers.
OM is also committed to working on “improving the reception and travel conditions for supporters” To fight “against the travel bans for supporters”, and to participate in “development of common charitable actions”.
This agreement, signed by the new president of the club Pablo Longoria and all the groups of organized supporters recognized by OM (Commando Ultras, Winners, MTP, Club des Amis de OM, Dodger’s, Fanatics and OM HandiFan Club) , marks a sharp turnaround after months of great tension between supporters and the old management.
For several weeks, supporters demanded the departure of former President Jacques-Henri Eyraud. The tension peaked at the end of January with the invasion of the Commanderie training center where several dozen supporters triggered violent incidents. A dozen of them were sentenced to suspended prison sentences and three others are still to be tried on Monday. The situation prompted American club owner Frank McCourt to come to Marseille and announce many changes, starting with the replacement of Jacques-Henri Eyraud by Pablo Longoria as president.
Since then, several leaders whose supporters demanded the departure have also left the club, such as general manager Hugues Ouvrard, who announced his voluntary departure. “in order to protect (his) relatives unfairly exposed and threatened”, or the manager of the Stade Vélodrome operations Thierry Aldebert, laid off.
Quoted in the press release published on Friday by OM, Frank McCourt welcomes a “agreement laying the foundations for a closer relationship between the club and its supporters”. “This is how we will build, together, a new chapter for OM, placing the supporters at the heart of the club”, added the businessman.