Former Dodgers owner completes Marseille purchase


American businessman Frank McCourt has taken control of Marseille after the former Los Angeles Dodgers owner completed his purchase of the Ligue 1 outfit.

The deal was finalised on Monday, with McCourt taking over from Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, having entered into exclusive discussions in August.

McCourt, who also owns the Los Angeles Marathon, sold MLB franchise the Dodgers for $2.15billion in 2012, which represents the highest price ever paid for a sports team.

Marseille - nine-time winners of France's first division with their last title coming back in 2010 - are 12th in the table this season following a 13th-place finish in 2015-16.

"Today opens a new chapter in the great history of Olympique de Marseille," McCourt said in a statement. "A chapter of which I am proud and honoured to be a part.

"I have no doubt that the challenges OM have had to face on and off the field have had a negative impact on the fans in recent years.

"Despite the difficulties, the fans have been loyal and steadfast in their support, demonstrating the power of sport and the affection they have for our club.

"I want to tell the fans: 'I thank you sincerely for your continued support. And perhaps more importantly, I wish to assure you of my commitment to make every effort to be worthy of your support and pursue our sporting ambitions'."

Marseille defeated Metz 1-0 on Sunday as they look ahead to a showdown against French champions Paris Saint-Germain.