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Marseille agree deal to stay at iconic stadium

AFP
The Stade Velodrome has been completely refurbished ahead of Euro 2016, which France will host, with the capacity increased to around 67,000
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The Stade Velodrome has been completely refurbished ahead of Euro 2016, which France will host, with the capacity increased to around 67,000 (AFP Photo/Boris Horvat)

Marseille (AFP) - Marseille have agreed a deal with local authorities to continue playing at their famous Stade Velodrome home, ending weeks of disagreement that saw them threaten to play their matches elsewhere.

Marseille's mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin, of the right-wing UMP party, explained that OM had accepted a deal with the city council that will see them pay around 7.4 million euros (£5.9m, $9.9m) per year to rent the stadium.

The club's owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, said: "It is a powerful gesture for the supporters and all the people of Marseille.

"We are all agreed that OM belong at the Velodrome, which is why I am so happy that we have come to an acceptable agreement."

Marseille were so unhappy with the initial cost quoted to continue renting the Velodrome - up to 10 million euros per year - that they had threatened to play their first 'home' game of the new Ligue 1 season, against Montpellier on August 17, at their opponents' Stade de la Mosson.

But the striking of a deal means French football's best supported club can continue playing at a stadium they have called home since 1937.

The Stade Velodrome has been completely refurbished ahead of Euro 2016, which France will host, with the capacity increased to around 67,000.

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