Ex-Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas used Olivier Ntcham’s loan signing from Celtic as a blatant opportunity to fire shots at the hierarchy of the French club.
That is according to European football expert Kevin Campbell, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 24-year-old’s loan move from Parkhead — first revealed by this site — ended up with the ex-Chelsea and Spurs boss sacked.
In farcical scenes, the Portuguese voiced his displeasure to the media at the signing of Ntcham behind his back as he simultaneously resigned on the spot.
Ntcham is highly-rated but had not featured for the Hoops since a 2-0 win over Ross County on 23 December.
And Campbell believes that Villas-Boas has used the saga surrounding the on-loan Celtic man as an opportunity to attack the Marseille’s powerbrokers.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “It’s not easy but these things do happen. What happens on the continent is a bit different from what happens over here. Sometimes the president and his team buy the player and the manager has to work with him.
“They like to go above the manager’s head because they are the hierarchy. The fact of the matter is that Villas-Boas has spoken out but there might be more to it than meets the eye.
“I just think it’s an opportunity for shots to be fired at the hierarchy.”
Quoted in the Scottish Sun, Neil Lennon said of Ntcham: “He was a bit fed up and indifferent about the Scottish game, and I think he wanted a new challenge, like a few of them have maintained since the start of the season.”
Celtic fans may have been grateful to have the spotlight briefly shifted away from them with the Ntcham saga — they have won nine points from the last 21 available and remain 23 points behind arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.