The club is in crisis and up for sale. Not Sunderland … Olympique de Marseille.
Monsieur Salut currently finds himself a shade closer to the Vélodrome than the Stadium of Light. And this little story concerns us as well as them.
Last night, OM won a place in the final of the French version of the FA Cup, beating Sochaux to set up a date at the Stade de France with PSG.
Whisper it but Sochaux are 15th in France’s second tier. So this is hardly, as one website put, France’s answer to the Barca-Real (or, we might fancifully add, Wear Tyne) classico.
But it would have been just a couple of seasons ago. Nowadays, PSG are in a Qatari-funded Ligue 1+ of their own, everyone else follows and OM are a long way behind. They haven’t won in the league at home since September.
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OM’s owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, who inherited her late husband Robert’s majority stake, has had enough. This week, Franck Passi became caretaker manager for the second time, replacing the sacked Michel, the former Real Madrid player whose real name is José Miguel Gonzalez Martin del Campo.
Passi got his new manager bounce. Steven Fletcher, on loan to Marseille from Sunderland and surely missing sunny Seaburn even when not dodging drug gangsters’ bullets, provided the assist. From his well flighted pass, Florian Thauvin advanced on the right to fire home.
It looks routine in the clip above, but let us be honest and say Fletch got his pass absolutely right.
I am not his greatest admirer but hope he gets a game in the final even if a loser’s medal is the likely outcome.