Marcelino, the Spanish coach of Olympique de Marseille who arrived at the start of the summer, “will not continue his mission” at OM, the club announced Wednesday afternoon, citing in a press release the stormy meeting of Monday with Olympian supporters. “The events of Monday”, during which the supporters’ associations had requested the resignations of President Pablo Longoria and three of his relatives on the board, “do not allow Marcelino and his technical staff to exercise the function in good conditions for which they were hired”, specifies the press release, speaking of a “deplorable situation”.
A departure after only 7 matches
The departure of the Spanish coach, 58, is made official on the eve of OM’s entry into the Europa League, Thursday (9:00 p.m.) on the pitch at Ajax Amsterdam, and four days before the clash of the 6th day of Ligue 1 against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday (9:00 p.m.) at the Parc des Princes. “Given the context, insists OM in its press release, the entire club is extremely disappointed to have to face the departure of a coach and technical staff, who only arrived in Marseille on June 23 and fully committed to of the club, for extra-sporting reasons.”
Recruited by Longoria, his compatriot, to succeed the Croatian Igor Tudor, the ex-coach of the Basque club Bilbao arrived at the helm of the Marseille team just ten days before the resumption of training, when it was already looming a very important 3rd preliminary round of the Champions League, fatal to OM, eliminated at the beginning of August by Panathinaikos Athens. An experienced and respected technician in the Spanish championship, Marcelino, who only managed seven official matches at the head of OM (3 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss), did not take the plane on Wednesday from mid-day with his players, leaving for the Netherlands to face Ajax Amsterdam.
5 coaches in 7 years
Marcelino Garcia Toral arrived free in Marseille, a year after his departure from Athletic Bilbao, where he had spent 18 mixed months. Having played for many La Liga clubs such as Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia, Marcelino won the Spanish Cup in 2019 with Valencia CF. After the Frenchman Rudi Garcia, the Portuguese André Villas-Boas, the Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli and Igor Tudor, there are now five to have succeeded one another as coach of OM since the takeover of the club by the American Frank McCourt, in October 2016, not counting a brief interim from Nasser Larguet.
According to a source close to the matter, it is Jacques “Pancho” Abardonado, former OM player and member of the Olympian staff, who should be on the bench Thursday evening at Ajax. For this fixed-term contract at the head of the Olympian team, this former duty player who knew how to “wet the jersey”, as the supporters like it, should be associated with the current sporting director of the club, David Friio.