PARIS: Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, one of the world’s richest business women, is putting former European champions Marseille up for sale.

Louis-Dreyfus, the Russian-born chairwoman of global trading house Louis Dreyfus Commodities, assured fans she would sell Marseille to the best long-term investor.

She said: “The price is not my first concern. However, the capacity of the new shareholder to build a team capable of winning at the highest level is essential.”

Marseille, European champions in 1993, won the last of their nine French league titles in 2010 and are currently struggling at 14th in the league, only six points clear of the relegation zone.

The club have been eclipsed in recent seasons by the Qatari-driven successes of their old rivals Paris Saint-Germain.

Louis-Dreyfus, who has injected tens of millions of euros into the club in recent years, said a club backed by an individual like herself was no match to rivals supported by governments or specialised sports firms with deeper pockets.

She took control of the club after the death in 2009 of her husband Robert – whose name resurfaced recently in connection with the German World Cup bid controversy.