Marseille suspend Andre Villas-Boas following comments over Olivier Ntcham deal

PA Sport Staff

Marseille have temporarily suspended head coach Andre Villas-Boas after he earlier offered his resignation following the deadline day signing of Olivier Ntcham.

Villas-Boas claimed the Celtic midfielder, who joined on loan until the end of the season, was not a player he wanted and said he did not agree with the club’s “sporting policy”.

The Ligue 1 club have reacted by placing the former Chelsea and Tottenham manager on gardening leave ahead of Wednesday’s match with Lens.

They said in a statement on their official website: “Marseille announces the temporary suspension of Andre Villas-Boas.

“This decision has become inevitable due to repeated actions and comments which are seriously damaging to Olympique Marseille and its employees, who defend it daily.

“The comments regarding sporting director Pablo Longoria made today at a press conference are unacceptable.

“His exceptional contribution during this winter transfer window, during an unprecedented crisis, cannot be called into question and on the contrary have been welcomed by everyone.

“Any sanctions against Andre Villas-Boas will be taken following disciplinary procedures.”

Midfielder Ntcham moved to the Ligue 1 club on loan from Celtic late on Monday, but the Portuguese claims he did not find out about it until reading the news on Tuesday morning.

“It’s not a decision I’d taken, I heard about it this morning in the press when I woke up,” Villas-Boas said in a press conference, reported by L’Equipe.

“He’s a player I said no to. He wasn’t on my list, I wasn’t going for him.

“I’ve submitted my resignation to the board, I don’t want to breach my contract but I don’t agree with the sporting policy.

“For the last two or three years the club have got it wrong with this aspect of transfers.

“The board asked me to take some time. That’s no problem. I have a lot of respect for (owner) Frank (McCourt).

“It’s not the first time a player the manager didn’t want has arrived at a club, but it’s not how I work.

“If they say ‘no’ (to my resignation), we’ll carry on. Let me be clear, though, I don’t want anything from L’OM, I don’t want any money.”

Villas-Boas has overseen a run of four successive defeats in all competitions and Marseille are ninth in Ligue 1.

Last weekend’s scheduled clash at home to Rennes was postponed three hours before kick-off after “a few hundred individuals from Ultra supporter groups” stormed the club’s training ground, requiring police intervention.

From Our Partners