OM saved by the Minots ...
After a bad 1979-1980 season, punctuated by a sad 19th place finish in the first division, OM again knew the sours relegation to D2.
Major players left the club, including Marius Trésor and Didier Six. OM sought to strengthen through recruits like A. Domenech, Flores, Djebali, Lechantre, Tallineau or Oscar Flores. The beginning of the season was rather mediocre. Les Olympiens were defeated by Montpellier on the first day of the championship (3-1) at a neutral ground. President Carlini dismissed Jean Robin and appointed Albert Batteux at the head of the first team.
THE JUDICIAL LIQUIDATION
But the situation did not improve. OM lost in the sixth round of the Coupe de France. The Marseillais then won nine times in the first half of the season with three draws and seven defeats.
The disaster was taking shape in April 1981. The club was placed in judicial liquidation by the Commercial Court. OM's debts amounted to 1.5 billion centimes. The staff of the club was then unemployed and the players left OM. Caminiti and Michel Castellani were the only two professional players to stay. How was the Marseille club to get by?
Paradoxically, the team wrote one of its most beautiful stories. Roland Gransart agrees to take command of the first team at the age of 27! He became the youngest coach in the history of OM. He is a coach-player.
THE ARRIVAL OF "MINOTS"
Marseille drew from its youth teams and calls on its Minots, winners of the Gambardella Cup in 1979. Lévy is in goal, Lopez, Caminiti, Gransart and Anigo in defense and Francini, De Bono and De Falco made up the midfield. Pascal, Lapinta and Castellani were lined up in the front of the attack. A certain Éric Di Meco played his first game during this dark season.
The Minots were heroic. In six games, they went unbeaten. They won against Grenoble at the Stade Vélodrome thanks to Castellani (1-0), then drew Corbeil and Toulouse (1-1) before winning at Avignon (0-1).
They then held Montlucon in check (0-0) and hosted Montpellier - the future champion - on the last day. Pasqualetti opened the scoring for the Hérault club but Les Olympiens showed their mettle by equalizing with a penalty thanks to Pascal. Gransart gave the advantage to OM in the second half on the hour mark and Pascal increased the score 10 minutes from the end of the game. The Minots finished in sixth place and saved OM from catastrophe. Incredible!