Supporters of Ligue 1 side Marseille have stormed the club’s training ground in a protest against the directors on Saturday afternoon.
Marseille Fans Protest Ahead of Ligue 1 Match
Fans Force Entry into Training Ground
Reports suggested that over 150 supporters made their way to the Louis-Dreyfus training complex, 11km outside of Marseille, wielding flares and firecrackers.
Videos emerged of supporters forcing their way into the training ground during a protest against the Marseille board of directors.
Protestors vented their anger against the Marseille players, with suggestions that defender Alvaro Gonzalez was hit by a projectile that had been thrown during the demonstration.
Gonzalez was amongst a range of players and staff caught up in the protest, who were residing at the training complex ahead of Saturday night’s Ligue 1 fixture against Stade Rennes.
The match was postponed in response to the unsavoury scenes.
Why Were the Fans Protesting?
Marseille supporters have for a sustained period wanted the club president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, to resign.
Reports of Eyraud wanting to tear apart the culture of Marseille and a poor run of form has angered the fans.
Eyraud has gone on record criticising the recruitment model of the club’s staff, suggesting that there too many people working at the club from Marseille.
The practices of Eyraud have been called into question, with ex-employees complaining about the working environment.
Poor Form Off the Pitch, Worse Form on It
Marseille controversially qualified for the 2020/21 Champions League, after the final 2019/20 table was decided through a points-per-game method.
It was Les Olympiens first appearance in the competition since 2013, but the 1993 winners crashed out of the competition, finishing bottom of their group and winning just once.
Their continental form translated over to their domestic performances and Marseille have struggled to get going in this campaign.
Sat in eighth place, 14 points off the top – albeit with two games in hand – has cut Marseille adrift from the Champions League qualification spots.
Given the club’s predicament, it is expected that André Villas-Boas will leave Marseille at the end of the season, when his contract expires.