Coach Andre Villas-Boas stay at Marseille is not foreseeable as the club’s sporting director Andoni Zubizaretta has stepped down according to a club statement released on Thursday.
Andoni’s four year stint at the Ligue 1 club ends with 12 months still remaining on his contract although the club described his departure as “amicable”.
Zubizarreta joined Marseille in 2016 and saw the club finish second in 2019-20 after the Ligue 1 campaign was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Zubizarreta’s repeated discrepancies with Franck McCourt, current owner of Olympique de Marseille, have been the main reason for the breakup, leaving the continuity of André Villas-Boas, the team’s coach, in the air.
Villas-Boas was brought in by the ex-Barcelona player and director and had recently indicated in an interview with RMC that his future was linked to that of “Zubi.”
“Andoni is the first leader that I recruited at the beginning of our project. Therefore, with great emotion we parted today. Since 2016, he has been by my side in all of our battles. He was fully dedicated to bringing Olympique back to our rightful height, and always brought her expertise as we rebuilt the foundation for both the first team and the Academy. Andoni is an honest man with great integrity. Beyond his immense role, he is a high-quality professional with whom I will always have a lot of fun talking, “said the club’s president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, in the official statement.
“I want to thank Frank McCourt, Jacques-Henri Eyraud and Rudi Garcia for their trust in me. It was a great joy to participate in such an important project like this. Thanks to André Villas Boas for having delighted me with his football and for being a true friend. Thanks to all the sports staff with Albert Valentin on the front line, for their professionalism and pride. And what can I say about my players? What about you fans? Thank you thank you very much. We share a project in which we experience great joys and dark days, but in which I fought every day to do my best for the club. In Basque we say: “amaya da asiera” – “the end is the beginning” -. I close the door as sports director and start it as an Olympique fan ”, Zubizarreta himself said goodbye in the same note.