The press conference of André Villas-Boas on the eve of the reception of Reims at the Vélodrome was at least as expected as the vaccine against Covid-19, after insults and threats given by the coach of the OM against a journalist from La Provence last Wednesday. From the noise of the corridors, it was rumored that all the journalists present at the venue on Friday had planned to leave the room if the Portuguese did not apologize after their departure, more than borderline.
Broadcast on the club’s Twitch channel, the conference also drew a large number of Marseille fans, ready “for the fight”, as one wrote in the comments.
Fortunately, there was no question of a fight on Friday. Barely installed on the platform at 7:30 am EST, the former Porto coach took the opportunity to read some notes thrown on a loose sheet. Finally, he first notified the public of his astonishment: “I’m a little surprised by your reaction … I didn’t even know it,” he murmured, certainly referring to the threat of our colleagues to boycott his conf ‘in the absence of an apology on his part.
Apologies? Yes but not that …
But they ended up coming, we handed them over as they are: “I would like to go back a little bit to the incident that opposed me on Wednesday to journalist Jean-Claude from Leblois de Provence. I had a reaction that I regret, the substance of my thinking has not changed, but I understand that the form may have provoked his criticisms. They are fair, just like your colleague’s defense. Freedom of expression is one of the most precious human rights. I have no problems with the press or criticism, but I had a very bad experience as a person of the two articles that, for me, attack my dignity and my integrity as a professional and as a person. ”
“I had a reaction that a person can’t have, I’m sorry and I’m ready to apologize in front of the reporter,” he continued. I had Frank McCourt [Marseille President] last night [Thursday] to clarify my actions, I remain focused only on OM, our players, our team and all those who love OM. Now I’m going to move on, there are two games before the break that are extremely important and it is OM that I want to focus on. Thank you for your understanding. With that dispatched and the piece of paper thrown to one side of the table, Villas-Boas could not help drawing the attention of journalists/boycotters. “I’ll leave it there anyway, to finish it off, I’m a little surprised that you chose this solution …” he sighed before being interrupted by a press officer visibly in a hurry to move on.
OM refuses to expand the subject
“Okay, let’s attack with questions for Reims’ departure. Who starts? “, She tried to dodge, without this preventing a journalist from returning to Wednesday’s fight. “What interests me, without going over the incident, is that we really have the impression that you are a little …”, he started by saying before being cut by AVB: “I will not talk about the incident and only about the match ”. “Can we just talk about the game?” Come on ”, engages the press office. Obviously, the incident is closed. On the OM side, at least.