24 July 2014 18:32
Marseille will play their first home game of the season away from the Stade Velodrome due to rent disagreements with the city’s authorities.
The nine-time French champions are due to host Montpellier on August 17 for their first home game of the new Ligue 1 campaign.
However, the club have failed to agree a mutually acceptable rent for the Stade Velodrome, which recently underwent major remodelling.
With the city reportedly requiring funds to help pay for the work carried out on the stadium, slated to host six Euro 2016 fixtures, Marseille have opted instead to play the Montpellier fixture at their opponents’ Stade de la Mosson home.
“Everything was done on our side to allow Marseillais to come support their team at the Stade Velodrome,” OM’s general manager Philippe Perez told the club’s official website.
“But the radical position of the municipality leaves us no choice but to take this painful decision.
“It is, unfortunately, our only option to protect the vital interests of OM – [we] can not and will never pay what the mayor asks.”
Marseille are due to host Nice 12 days after the Montpellier fixture in their fourth Ligue 1 outing of the campaign.