Jack Kachkar, L’OMs new owner
L’ OM’s fortunes have been on the wane for over a decade since Bernard Tapie’s 1994 match fixing scandal led to the club’s brief second division relegation. Their chairman, Adidas owner Robert Louis Dreyfus took over in 1996 but he was largely an owner in absentia with an open checkbook leading to many expensive and unsuccessful transfers. The club lost money and never had much success except for reaching the UEFA cup final in 1999 where they were beaten by Valencia. L’OM’s last French Ligue title was in 1992. During this decline L’OM became known as a feeder club churning out talented players like Didier Drogba who was offloaded to Chelsea in 2004 for a record fee of 24 million pounds primarily to offset some of OM’s operating loss. The OM fans are reputed for their loyalty and pack their stadium (one of Europe’s largest with 65,000) through disappointing season after season.
However there is reason for optimism as they now have a new owner. Canadian-Syrian businessman Jack Kachkar recently announced that he had bought out Dreyfus share and was set to takeover as OM’s chairman. This has been in the works for a while and many OM fans were waiting for this announcement. Kachkar’s takeover was in question because club authorities and French financial officials questioned some of his business dealings but these have been cleared. Kachkar is the CEO of Inyx, a pharma company headquartered in New York City.
Kachkar’s immediate concern would be to find a new coach and he is keen on bringing England’s ex-coach Sven Goran Erickson on board. Kachkar on his new club “I am passionate about football and I have been a Marseille fan for a while now. I appreciate its history and the support of the fans for their team.”