The businessman and politician Bernard Tapie, former president of Olympique de Marseille between 1986 and 1993 and the entity’s top president during the achievement of its only Champions League in 1993, has died this Sunday at the age of 78, the French club has confirmed.
Tapie had been involved in legal matters for years after suing the Credit Lyonnais bank after selling its majority stake in the sports firm Adidas, a dispute that ended up leading to the resignation of Christine Lagarde as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In August 2014, the French magistracy opened a formal investigation into the alleged negligence committed by Lagarde in the management of the ‘Tapie case’, resolved in 2008 by an arbitration court promoted by Lagarde with the payment of a compensation of 404 million euros to the employer. Lagarde was found guilty, but dispensed with punishment.
“Olympique de Marseille learned with deep sadness of the disappearance of Bernard Tapie. He will leave a great void in the hearts of the people of Marseille and will remain forever in the legend of the club. Our condolences to his family and loved ones,” said the entity Marseillaise.
The controversial businessman, who was also an actor and singer, fell from grace when the scandal of the arrangement of the league match prior to the final of the ‘Champions’ against Valenciennes was uncovered, in which several players from the rival team were bribed to let themselves win .
Olympique de Marseille were relegated to the French second division, in addition to being disqualified from the 1993 European Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup and suspended for one year without playing in Europe. Despite everything, he retained his continental title.