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“Without the fans and the athletes, there is no football”

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In an exclusive interview with France 24, OM owner Frank McCourt called for better supervision of the arrival of state investors in professional football. Returning to the Super League project, he recalled that sport started out “from fans and athletes and not from a checkbook”.

Massive investment in football does not mean deregulation. This is the message that Frank McCourt, owner of the Olympique de Marseille (OM) wanted to pass, in an exclusive interview with France 24 during the Peace Forum.

Without hypocrisy, the rich owner of OM does not call for the end of the reign of money. “I am not against the influx of money into sport. I myself have invested a lot in OM,” he recalls. “But you have to understand that sport is above all about the fans and the athletes. It’s not just the checkbook.”

Returning to the Super League, this closed league project on a European scale proposed by twelve clubs to supplant the prestigious UEFA Champions League, Frank McCourt expresses his opposition.

>> Read also: Life and death of the Super League: 48 hours that almost changed European football

“These were a few individuals who were trying to control the entire ecosystem, forgetting that this ecosystem is the fans and the athletes. Without them no football,” he asserts.

The need for reforms

While the mutineers claimed at the time to want to take the American sports leagues as an example, Frank McCourt, former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers (baseball), takes the opposite view, believing that the rebels wanted to import this model without retaining the related regulations. , such as wage caps.

“The United States is considered a very capitalist state, but in sports leagues, we try to have fair competition, while in Europe which is considered a more social form of capitalism, football is the far-west! Reforms are necessary in the medium term, “he calls, without taking the trouble to define what form they could take.

Asked about new state investors such as Qatar at PSG, capable of bringing together Messi, Neymar and Mbappé, the OM boss took the opportunity once again to call for “a framework” for healthy competition.

“It’s harder [de concurrencer le Qatar]. Me, my wife, my family, we’re lucky […] but we are nothing compared to a government or a state. It’s a challenge ! I think we need a framework and that everyone works within this framework “, he asks. There needs to be a certain level of fair competition on pain of destroying the pleasure of sport. We could kill football!”

“I’m not going anywhere !”

Called to react to rumors about a takeover by Saudi investors of Olympique de Marseille, Franck McCourt was very firm:

“I have said it many times: I’m not going anywhere! I love OM, I love Marseille. The team is now playing very well and we are building a club that can win,” he said. he clamored. ‘The club is not for sale!’

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