French Ligue 1 football club Olympique de Marseille has hailed a “milestone” in its history after agreeing a deal whereby it will assume the commercial management of its home stadium.

The agreement with the Arema consortium, which was responsible for the redevelopment of the Stade Vélodrome ahead of France’s staging of UEFA Euro 2016 through a public-private partnership with the City of Marseille, will take effect from January 1.

Arema is currently responsible for the entire management of the Vélodrome, but under the new agreement Marseille will take over commercial operations of the 67,000-seat stadium. The city still owns the stadium, with Marseille paying around €5m (£4.5m/$5.7m) per year to rent the venue.

Terms of the new contract were not disclosed, but Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud said in a statement: “With the takeover of the Orange Vélodrome stadium, we have reached a historic milestone for Olympique de Marseille.

“Almost all of Europe’s top 15 (teams) are either the owner of their stadium or the exclusive manager, which is our case today. We will make every effort to ensure that this exceptional site is even more a highlight of sporting life.”

Image: Olympique de Marseille