Olympique de Marseille is changing! Andoni Zubizarreta is no longer the sporting director and the current trainer André Villas-Boas, who allowed OM to finish 2nd this season (stopped definitively by the health crisis of Covid-19) and to find the Champions League for the first time since 2013, he too could leave ... Especially since the Portuguese technician recently refused an extension offer. In-depth changes are therefore being prepared at the head of the Marseille club. In addition to being in search of a general manager of football, Jacques-Henri Eyraud also plans to recruit a "general manager in charge of managing financial and non-soccer interests", as reported by RMC Sport. The latter “will pilot a vast position around the marketing, media and commercial functions. He will be responsible for the international development of the club and will be entrusted with a mission in close collaboration with McCourt Global, the parent entity. ” The American owner of OM, Frank McCourt, now seems more than ever invested in the management of the club. The president of OM, criticized by supporters for his policy, gives his vision on his change strategy for Marseille in a forum published this Sunday on LinkedIn.
Have a long-term vision
The Marseille leader first of all wishes to mention the organization and structuring of a club including a world of football where "only the results on the field count": "If a football club is not an entity like any other, it must still adopt the attitude of successful companies: define and then stay the course, always look as far as possible. Because without the obsession with the long term, success, even if it existed in the short term, would not be there in the long term. ”
"Reach the standards of the European top 20"Jacques-Henri Eyraud
“Our primary objective is to obtain excellent sports results. It is our priority and it is such a difficult, uncertain and risky exercise that the greatest humility is required, he assures us. In order to see further and allow the club to grow, this sporting structure is therefore necessary and essential ... but not sufficient. For 4 years, in parallel with the sportsman, we have been gradually transforming OM to always gain power and ensure that the organization of the club allows it to reach the standards of the European top 20. ” Since arriving in Marseille, Eyraud explains that he has visited several major European clubs (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester City) to learn "from great leaders, their organization, their methods, their infrastructures". “And that with only one objective: to determine the most efficient way to organize the club and to always strengthen it around a model that is unique to us. This shadow work is by definition invisible, not necessarily always understood, but nevertheless essential to the success of our project which aims, I repeat, to see OM regain its rank of top European club ", says the President. The latter is looking for "a culture of victory, a culture of excellence, a culture of innovation, applied everywhere and not only in the sports sector". “From all these meetings and visits, I try to get the best for the development of Olympique de Marseille. This requires long-term development, in several phases. Today we have completed the first phase of our plan and are now entering the second, ”he says. With a substantial deficit that could deprive OM of C1 because of financial fair play, the second stage of the club is to be now in the financial nails ...
OM's transformations for 4 years
"This transformation process may seem new in a football club, but is quite common today," said Eyraud. Over the past 4 years, the club has therefore undergone a profound transformation in order to be able to meet the needs of future years. The lines of work were numerous: improvement of infrastructures (the Orange Vélodrome stadium and the OM Campus in particular), new nerve center for training, integration of digital tools generalized internally and externally, media strategy completely redesigned. "Today, OM has 13 million subscribers on its social networks, which places us in the European top 20", confides the latter. Before adding: "I want OM to become the most technologically advanced French club. The analytical culture is also useful during our recruitments, where we use a lot of tests allowing the emergence of the personalities who seem to us best suited to the club culture. ”
Have your own model
The recruitment of the "Head of Football" aims to have "a football specialist with a new kind of profile". The Marseilles leader develops the role of the future football director: "This manager projects himself over the long term, supervises the training strategy, displays obvious transactional qualities to carry out the acquisitions and sales of players within the framework of the objectives fixed. He is also the guarantor of the athlete's financial equilibrium and perfectly masters the legal aspects of contracts and their negotiation. And continues: “This logic also applies to the non-sports sector. This is why I decided to create a “Head of Business” position, to supervise all of the operational and functional functions of the club excluding football. It involves recruiting a very experienced manager with an excellent strategic vision. A leader capable of uniting teams and developing and monitoring everyone's action plans. A wise manager, who also has an intimate knowledge of the potential of brands and a fine experience of international contexts ”. According to him, "one of the keys to the long-term success of the club will be the close relationship" between these two men. “We will continue to recruit renowned managers or experts, who will allow the club to continue to grow and support us in phase 2 of our strategic plan. Structuring the OM at the same time by recruiting very pointed experts, specialists in certain subjects, but also very experienced managers, capable of supervising global problems is a priority ”, testifies the president.
"Invent our own model"Jacques-Henri Eyraud
These new transformations are, according to him, "what will allow us to succeed in combining excellence at the sporting level and agility at the organizational level". “And it is my duty as President to lead this transformation, despite the gusts it can generate, by continuing to observe what is done elsewhere, to test and define what can work best for us. In short, invent our own model, ”he says. The 52-year-old also speaks about the owner of the Marseille club: “The contribution of Frank McCourt is essential to our reflections on the organization of the club. He has achieved brilliant results in the United States, perhaps the first sports nation in the world, where professional leagues have long shown their lead and professionalism. His help is invaluable to us in overcoming crises and staying the course we have set since day one. ” As a reminder, McCourt also wants Villas-Boas to extend.
The president of the OM concludes: “I thought that these reflections would allow you to better understand all our work behind the scenes. A somewhat obscure work carried out by a whole team of mobilized managers who do not count their hours. I want to take this opportunity to thank them warmly. This work draws less light, but it is just as decisive in bringing our club to new levels towards one goal: that OM regain its rank among the European top 20. ” In short, "OM is transforming", as Eyraud puts it so well, with the aim of finding European summits.
OM's best moments in 2019-2020
- Marseille: Eyraud facing headwinds
- The standoff between Villas-Boas and OM continues
- OM reveals details of extension refused by Villas-Boas