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On Friday 26 February 2021 at 07:45
Frank McCourt announces major changes, opening a new chapter for Olympique de Marseille

Pablo Longoria has been appointed chairman of the board of Olympique de Marseille; Internationally renowned coach Jorge Sampaoli, is appointed head coach of the team; Frank McCourt travels to Marseilles to meet with groups of supporters and local leaders

Olympique de Marseille today opens a new chapter in its great history. Pablo Longoria has been appointed Chairman of the OM Executive Board, replacing Jacques-Henri Eyraud, while Jorge Sampaoli has been appointed coach of the club's first team.

Pablo Longoria, who has been OM's football director since 3 August, 2020, becomes Chairman of the Executive Board and President of OM, with immediate effect. In this capacity, Longoria will be responsible for the management of the club, both on a sporting and economic level. He has

previously worked as a recruiter at Newcastle United F.C. in England, Recreativo from Huelva in Spain, Sassuolo Calcio and Atalanta B.C. in Italy. From 2015 to 2018, he was Recruitment Manager and Scouting Manager at Juventus F.C., then, as Sports Director of the Valencia CF, he directly contributed to the return of Valencia to the European stage with a return to the UEFA Champions League and the award of a trophy (Spanish Cup).

"This is a new chapter for Olympique de Marseille, and I personally commit myself to making

to make it a real success," said Frank McCourt, owner of Olympique de Marseille. "I have entrusted the presidency of the club to Pablo. His experience as sporting director and talent recruiter is matched only by his love of the game. His main priority will be to deliver the football at the heart of OM."

Pablo Longoria said: "The history and culture of this club is truly unique. The football is inconceivable without passion and this nomination is for me a great honour, to which I have been preparing myself since I entered the world of football. We would like to contribute to building a style of play that matches the passion of our supporters. I will be attentive to make sure that all the players adhere to our project. This will be a prerequisite for our recruitment to come. Courage and passion are core values for OM and the supporters. The club comes first, no matter what."

Jorge Sampaoli has signed a contract with the club until June 2023. He is a great tactician, with coaching experience at the highest level. Sampaoli is renowned for its focus in attack. It is a system of play that he has deployed throughout his long and successful career. He has led the national teams of Argentina and Chile, and Sevilla FC in Spain, as well as Santos FC and Clube Atlético Mineiro in Brazil. Sampaoli has led the Chilean national team toward its first major trophy in 2015 by winning the prestigious Copa America, beating reigning champions Uruguay in the quarter-finals and Argentina in the final. He has been awarded numerous individual prizes, including being nominated for the

FIFA Coach of the Year Award.

"I have been told all my life that OM is a special place for passion. That the Vélodrome lights up when the team plays in the stadium," said Sampaoli. "Marseille is a club for the people. We're not here to hide: we're going to play hard. When I received this proposal, I dreamed of being able to party in the city. In the world, there are places for calm and there are intense places. It is the latter that I want and I accepted without hesitation. This club has a soul and that is why we are here. We are ready.

OM is also pleased to announce that Frank McCourt will arrive in Marseille this week to meet with fans and leaders of OM's historic fan groups in order to discuss his long-term plans for the club. He will also meet with business leaders, elected officials and representatives of public authorities, accompanied by members of the new club management team.

"The soul of Marseille lured me in when I bought the club", said Frank McCourt. "This

spirit has suffered from COVID and impacted the fans, of which I am a part. I would like to thank the authorities for facilitating my arrival in France. I am coming to Marseille, and I look forward to sharing my vision for the future directly with fans, including the development and investment projects for the next few years. In 2016, we launched an ambitious project to bring this club back to the top of French and European football and this commitment is still intact. Rest assured that my commitment to OM and the people of Marseille is absolute, and I ask that all our supporters unite and support us as we open this new great chapter".

Following the appointment of Longoria as Chairman of the Management Board and Chairman of OM, Jacques-Henri Eyraud has left his current responsibilities and will join the Supervisory Board of OM.