Zubizarreta joins McCourt’s Marseilles revolution

October 28 – Marseille have named Andoni Zubizarreta as their new sporting director as American owner Frank McCourt starts a revamp of the club. 

Between 2010 and 2015 Zubizarreta held the same position at FC Barcelona. He was responsible for the acquisitions and arrivals of Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitic.

“I’m happy to be in a club with so much personality as OM,” said the Spaniard at a press conference on Thursday alongside Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud. “I hope I will live up to the trust placed in me.”

Gunter Jacob, who was only appointed three months ago, was removed from his role as sporting director to make way for Zubizarreta. The move is a part of new owner McCourt’s overhaul of the club. The New Yorker, who previously owned the Los Angeles Dodgers, took over Marseille for €40 million at the end of August.

Rudi Garcia became the new coach as McCourt intends to take Marseille back to the top of both domestic and European football. “My number one goal is to win Ligue 1, the second is to win the title more often than we don’t and the third is to win the Champions League,” said McCourt. “We have to manage to do that in that order.”

But doubts about the American remain. At home he has been accused of asset stripping the Dodgers before selling the franchise for $2 billion in 2012. There are concerns as to what McCourt’s intentions are with Marseille in a league and sport he knows little about.

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