LES MINOTS TO THE RESCUE!
April 7th 1981. Olympique de Marseille, in Ligue 2 at the time, is placed placed in liquidation. Things are bad, very bad. S bad that the club confirms that it is unable to pay the electricity bill. Following broken promises from investors, and refusal of the Mayor to bail the club out; L’OM has run out of money. One of the monuments of French football is about to disappear.
Inside the club, staff from all levels are being made redundant and eventually within days; all the 1st team players are let go. Olympique de Marseille is hours from disappearing until unexpectedly Marseille’s Mayor and the President of the French Professional Clubs obtain a suspension of the ruling until the end of the season.
L’OM isn’t dead yet! Les Marseillais are allowed to play the last 6 games of the season, in Ligue 2. During that time, Olympique de Marseille will also needs to find the funds necessary to survive.
However there is a big condition to this deal… To stay in Ligue 2 the following season, and with their fist team player now long gone, l’OM needs to somehow take 3 points from their remaining fixtures. It won’t be easy.
The mission is entrusted to the “Minots”: young players from the Marseille training centre and from the reserve team. The team will be lead by a 28 year old inexperienced coach. Amongst Les Minots, Jose Anigo who would one day manage L’OM and there is also a certain Eric DiMeco who in 1993 will become European champions with Marseille.
Most of the 6 teams left for l’OM to play, with the exception of Toulouse, underestimate Les Minots and incredibly the young inexperienced players end up winning 3 games and drawing the other 3! L’Olympique de Marseille stays in Ligue 2!
Finally, in June 1st 1981, more good news! It is announced that Jean Carrieu is to take charge of the club and obtains an agreement that will allow the club to repay its debt over 29 years.