Marseille have been plunged into crisis just six weeks into the season with new coach Marcelino expected to leave the French giants and the club's president reportedly considering walking away too after an angry encounter with supporters.
Spanish coach Marcelino, 58, will not be present for his team's game against Ajax in Amsterdam in the Europa League on Thursday pending a decision on his future, a source with knowledge of the matter told AFP.
The former Sevilla, Villarreal, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao coach was only appointed in June to succeed Igor Tudor, who had led the 1993 Champions League winners to a third-place finish in Ligue 1 last season.
Marseille are unbeaten five games into the new domestic season but supporters were furious with their insipid performance in drawing 0-0 with Toulouse at the weekend.
They went out of the Champions League in the third qualifying round, losing on penalties to Panathinaikos and dropping into the Europa League instead.
According to the source, Marcelino is set to be replaced on an interim basis by Pancho Abardonado, a former OM player currently on the coaching staff, and David Friio, the sporting director.
Marseille president Pablo Longoria and three of his closest colleagues all decided late on Tuesday "to step back" from their roles and would "consider their positions", a source told AFP.
Spaniard Longoria, who has a close relationship with Marcelino, was expected to miss the Ajax game along with other members of the club's management, including director of football Javier Ribalta.
The developments come after a meeting on Monday at the club's training centre between management and supporters groups.
"Supporters' representatives expressed their wish to see the club's current management team resign," Marseille said in a statement, claiming that the fan groups threatened "war" if that did not happen.
"The management of OM cannot accept personal threats", the club said, or "a relationship based on intimidation".
Sources said Longoria and his colleagues were "shocked" by the language used by the supporters groups.
Longoria was appointed by Marseille's American owner Frank McCourt in January 2021 after angry supporters furious with then president Jacques-Henri Eyraud stormed the club's training ground.
After facing Ajax, Marseille travel to face their bitter rivals Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.