Jacques-Henri Eyraud | We know we cannot lose more than twice

mon 25 mar at 20:24
Le Dauphiné Libéré
Photos © 
In an interview with the daily Le Dauphiné Libéré, Jacques-Henri Eyraud spoke about the current season, Mario Balotelli, Rudi Garcia and the finances of the club. These are some of the interview's excerpts.

On the turbulent period for OM during the winter months ...

"I was used to, from an early age, to going through ups and downs. During the winter, we experienced a real low. And now things have been better for a month and a half. We will need to advantage of it. We know that the season is not over, we must remain focused and very determined.

When you are president of the Olympique de Marseille, you have to expect to take full responsibility of the great moments like last season with the Europa League and you have to be able to do the same in the less glorious moments, the moments of crisis. I am absolutely not a victim. I know my role. It's part of growing this club. "

On the end of the season and the fight for the Top-3 ...

"We're still fighting. What is certain, ten matches from the end of the season, with the defeat we have just suffered against Paris, we can suffer no more than two defeats. The potential is real but it's also difficult to qualifiy. Everyone is extremely focused. We believe in ourselves. We're still must face Lyon, it's going to be an extremely important game ..."

The atmosphere and the show of support offered by the fans, it's priceless

On the fans ...

"When we win, it's always better. What is certain is that the dialogue is constant with them. For me, what I can say: if OM is the second team of France, it is thanks to its supporters, thanks to the passion that surrounds this club. (..) If this club is there, it's because everyone recognizes the exceptional spectacle and the atmosphere offered by this stadium and the fans every weekend. Its priceless. It's never something that you want to get rid of. Finally, I must add that we do not have politicized supporters, using a stadium to convey propaganda."

On Rudi Garcia ...

"If we want to achieve excellence one day, we must not give in to a rush of blood to our head during a crisis, no matter how deep it may be. From my point of view, what has tainted the history of this club over the last twenty years is this chronic instability. The coaches at the head of Olympique Marseille have come and gone at too a fast pace. For me, it's not a way to run a business - in football in particular - to make dramatic changes at the first sign of a storm. I am happy to see that things have picked up, even though we are definitely not where we should be. (...) The coach has goals he must meet. He knows it. There is a lot of pressure at Olympique de Marseille, that has always been the case. "

I believed in Mario Balotelli from the beginning

On Mario Balotelli...

"I believed in him from the beginning. Even Frank McCourt really believed in the idea of having this type of player at that point in the season, we would have liked to see him come sooner. Yes, we are happy with his performances. The way he almost immediately fit into the group and how he integrated with his behaviour on the pitch. Now we will wait until the end of the season to take stock of this experience. (...) I will not talk about the future of Mario Balotelli. It's premature. First of all, it made me happy that he made statements about the fact that he was planning to stay. Now it depends on a lot of factors and we're just not there yet. What I expect from Mario Balotelli is that he continues to blend into this group, score goals and deliver assists. Then we will speak in June."

On the finances of OM ...

"We took over this club in an extremely difficult state with an obligation to invest in the first team. What have we done, since then, we've spent 190 million Euros in two seasons. (...) There is no question of shrinking the deficit a little more. We are talking about increasing our revenues and obviously keeping a competitive team. Our responsibility is to bring Olympique de Marseille to a financial balance. So that the operation can be self-financing. There is no question of degrading the results a little more, it is a question of improving them. "