Former West Ham United chief executive Paul Aldridge has been appointed by Ligue 1 title hopefuls Marseille.

West Ham’s former managing director Aldridge was infamously involved with the Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano affair.

Aldridge was found to have lied to the Premier League over the existence of documentation that should have been submitted regarding the transfer of the two Argentine stars (Reuters).

The saga, which was dragged up in the build-up to last Friday’s defeat to the Blades at Brammall Lane, ended up costing West Ham £5.5million in fines and £18million in compensation to Sheffield United.

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Former West Ham chief crops up at Marseille

Now Aldridge has rather randomly popped up across The Channel at Marseille – the club of another former Hammer, Dimitri Payet.

Even more bizarre is his role at the French club.

Aldridge has been appointed as Head of Selling Players to England by Marseille according to Get French Football News.

According to GFFN, hiring Aldridge is an attempt to cash in on the Premier League gravy train but getting the best possible deals for Marseille players when selling to English clubs.

But it has not gone down well with Marseille’s manager Andre Villas Boas, who told GFFN he was ‘unhappy and surprised’.

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Aldridge tasked with selling players to English clubs

“Marseille’s decision to hire Paul Aldridge, who was DG at West Ham when they infamously “signed” Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, in the specific role of “Head of Selling Players to England,” is worth some reflection,” GFFN reports.

“It is yet another signal, as if we needed one, of just how critical the French market has become for Premier League & Championship clubs & vice versa how much Ligue 1 & Ligue 2 sides rely on English teams for a payday.

“This is relevant to Marseille because last summer they offered everyone & their aunt to PL clubs after an all-round rubbish season with the hope of balancing the books as FFP continues to cause them problems.

“Who can blame Marseille? They’ve got away with quasi-robbery like deals to desperate English clubs in the past: André-Frank Zambo Anguissa has some core attributes, but the £30m deadline day sale to Fulham in 2018 was the joke of the year here in France.

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West Ham did not want Sanson while Thauvin ‘turned his nose up’ at Hammers

“The issue last summer was that West Ham for once weren’t listening very much when McKay said take a look at Morgan Sanson or the rest of the gang. There were mid-table PL sides willing to pay €50m for Florian Thauvin, but the French international turned his nose up at them.

“OM have also in the past struggled with a lot of intermediaries trying to insert themselves into such potential deals, to the point that a PL club two summers ago gave up on trying to sign a Marseille player as they couldn’t figure out who was actually in charge.

“Hiring Mr Aldridge is an attempt to fix that problem & it originates from a frustration held by President Eyraud at OM’s inability to sell well last summer. Does he have the credentials for it? We’d be interested to hear what Sporting Director Andoni Zubizaretta thinks…

 

“Marseille boss André Villas Boas unhappy with the arrival of Paul Aldridge as Head of Selling Players in England: “I was told about it by Andoni last week. Jacques-Henri must explain this decision. I was surprised.”

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Payet pipedream?

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan is back in charge of transfers after the departure of director of football Mario Husillos.

The appointment of Aldridge may see the Hammers linked with a host of their players this month.

Indeed it may even lead to fairytale suggestions that Payet could return to the club where he made such a memorable impact.

Payet may be a pipedream.

But with Aldridge in charge West Ham fans will certainly be keeping a close eye on developments at OM.

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