Frank McCourt: Exclusive Intervew with OMIn the first of a three-part interview, Frank McCourt talks about the team's progress, two years after he became owner, as well as the contract extensions of Rudi Garcia and Andoni Zubizarreta. For the majority shareholder of the club, OM continues its progression after its successful run in the Europa League last year and must constantly work to achieve its goal: qualification into the Champions League.
Contract extensions for Rudi Garcia & Andoni Zubizarreta serving as stability for the Club
"An important lesson learned over the years in sport is that stability and continuity are very important. I think all too often people make hasty decisions because they are not satisfied. They make a sharp left turn, then a right turn. And finally give up on their project. I think it's a big mistake, because it's important to have a goal, not to lose sight of it, and stay the course.
Of course, there are ups and downs, but continuity and stability are very important. Our work is not finished. But I think we have made good progress over the last 2 years on building a new era. And it's not only with Rudi [Garcia], but throughout the organization.
Jacques-Henri [Eyraud] is a great company leader, and Andoni and Rudi are on a sporting level. We need stability throughout the organization. We need a common goal, and a shared vision of where to go. And then we have to roll up our sleeves and execute that vision! "
Recently, Frank McCourt sat down for an exclusive interview with Olympique Marseille. The first of three segments are below. Watch Part 2 and Part 3 at OM.net.
Two years into the project for you, are things where you expected?
"I think the framework we put in place 2 years ago gives us a good way to measure that. If you look at the 4 pillars of the project, we still have a lot to do to win the championship. But I think we have shown that the team is more competitive. We have a strong strategy. This first team had a fantastic season.
I think it shows what we can do. But I remember it is sport: we have to be the best every day, because nothing is ever guaranteed. I think we are progressing on our 4 pillars. But our work never stops. It is important, and it must be our culture, to understand that every day we must always do better. This relentless work on our four pillars will enable us to achieve our goals.
If we rush, and if we build the walls and the roof of the house, without having solid foundations, then a strong wind can make everything crumble. And everything is to start again. I come back to the question of stability: first we need a solid foundation, and then build, relentlessly. With a successful foundation, it is possible to build, to add floors to the building ... When everything is held, we can then begin to furnish the house as desired. And really do the things that make us happy! But we can not do it without the foundations. This is our basic principle."
The Opening of OM Campus
"We have relaunched the development for young new talents. I have just opened a training center for young players. We brought together the work of the associations, as well as the whole club and the players themselves. Having a cross-cutting strategy is also important. We invest a lot in our development. This is one of the foundations of the evolution of our team."
After a brilliant 2017-18 season, what are the goals this year?
"We certainly did not expect to play in the final of the Europa League. The goal was to be better than last season. Mission accomplished! And that's still our goal today. If we set ourselves this type of goal, mentalities change. We trust, we can start believing, and even achieve exceptional results. As was the case last season. This season, however, is a new beginning. We will build on our foundations, and fight. To progress every day. Our goal is clear and we must do everything we can to reach it. We will celebrate victories, and take steps. But we will also experience failures. It's like that. But I am very happy with what we achieved last year. I still have goose bumps!
As the owner of this club, however, I need to keep a cool head. I can not get excited when things are going well, or on the contrary complain when things go wrong. It is necessary, as we said on the stability, to keep his cool. To be a leader in the rigor and the duration. I think it's part of my role to ensure that balance and stability at the club."