Reactions: Bielsa resignation
Marcelo Bielsa's resignation as Marseille coach on Saturday set Ligue 1 abuzz… check out what several former OM presidents - as well as Auxerre legend Guy Roux and Montpellier president Louis Nicollin - had to say.
Louis Nicollin (Montpellier president): "Why don't I like Bielsa? Because he's an idiot. He never looks you in the eye. I can't stand it when people won't look you in the eye or wear sunglasses when they talk to you. It really rubs me up the wrong way. I would have fired him last season, as soon as he spoke out in the media about the club's transfer window activity. Vincent Labrune is the president of OM, not the owner of the club, like I am, and it's not easy for him. But he'll be okay, I'm not worried about him. Losing Bielsa is no big deal. Labrune will find a good coach this time and get on with things. He'll be free of this guy and Marseille will finally realise Bielsa was no good. He manipulated all of Marseille! He's a good actor. He's supposed to be going off to coach Mexico, no? For me, his departure is no loss for Ligue 1."
Bernard Tapie (Marseille president 1986-94): "(OM president) Vincent Labrune needs to ask himself some tough questions. He only seems to have a good relationship with himself - that's the fundamental problem. His excellent qualities, which made him the right-man of (former owner) Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who was a very experienced businessman, aren't in question here. But at the same time, they're not necessarily the qualities needed to run a high-level football club. So far he hasn't shown that he has what it takes."
Guy Roux (Legendary Auxerre coach): "His president let him get away with too much. Vincent Labrune let him go on holidays when he wanted. When you're earning €300,000 a month, you don't quibble over two or three days, and you don't show up two weeks late for the resumption of training. What's more, they let him go on holidays without having locked down the terms for the second year of his contract, even though he had signed on for two years. And then it ends up with this incredible fantasy."
Jean-Claude Dassier (Marseille president 2009-11): "This situation just gives me a sense of ridiculous and incredible waste. Either Bielsa is completely crazy - which I don't believe even though he has a very strong temperament and doesn't let anyone tread on his toes. Or it wasn't craziness. I can't see what it would have brought it about. When you change a contract at the last minute, you take a risk. When know what the result was. I think that perhaps (OM owner) Margarita Louis-Dreyfus didn't like the contract that Vincent Labrune had proposed to Bielsa. Maybe that was it."
Pape Diouf (Marseille president 2005-09): "Some advice for Labrune? I don’t really have anything to say to him. He was a good advisor when he worked from the shadows and criticised the people running the club at the time. If Bielsa resigned saying that he couldn't work with people whose word was not their bond - which is what we've been given to understand - I think it's up to Labrune to take responsibility for the consequences of his policies, which have taken his club to the brink of the abyss."
Christophe Bouchet (Marseille president 2002-05): "OM employed this coach in the first place so they have to take some responsibility for what has happened, but the bottom line is that he is someone who doesn't respect the club - someone who looks after himself. I think that, even though it's painful, this is good news for OM. They will need to find solutions to get through this tough stage. I just wonder where the fans' and journalists' adulation for Bielsa comes from. What has he won? We'll remember a few big matches but that's all. At any rate, it was a mistake for the club to put itself in the hands of some kind of messiah figure."