French businessman Bernard Tapie has died aged 78, to the surprise of all of us who assumed he was exaggerating his ailments. Tapie had a habit of buying bankrupt companies and saving this, which he famously did to Adidas in the early 90s. The popular name this gave him in France allowed him to buy Marseille football club, and enter into politics. In politics he replaced Simone Veil as Mitterands Minister of City Affairs, which is as about yin and yang as you can get given Veil was one of the most respected French politicians of the 20th Century!
While owner of Marseille, they won 4 league titles in a row and won the Champions League in 1993. This was not without an element of controversy, as bribery was allegedly rife throughout the tournament, and it is still alleged that CSKA Moscow were asked to take a dive in their match against Marseille. Whatever happened, Marseille won 6-0 and advanced to the final by one point more than Rangers. (And if Tapie did screw over Rangers, that might just make some of you like him more.)
However, his asking Valenciennes to throw a French league match was actually caught, so Marseille were stripped of the French title and relegated. Tapie was sentenced by two years in jail for fraud, and witness tampering. This was the start of legal issues which lingered until his dying day.
Tapie was picked by 23 teams, including Cancerous Hatred, Shaun of the Dead, This Mortal Coil and Twenty Little Roosters.
26 January 1943 – 3 October 2021