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Marseille fans stage 10-minute strike against ownership

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Marseille (AFP)

Swathes of the stands were empty at the normally vibrant Velodrome when the Ligue 1 game against Lille kicked off on Friday night, as Marseille fans staged a 10-minute protest against the way the club is run.

Fans are frustrated that Marseille, seventh in Ligue 1, have won only once since late November. In that time they have been eliminated from three cups.

At kick off on Friday, the stands behind the goals were largely empty, except for banners created by fan groups. Most were aimed at owner Frank McCourt and president Jacques-Henri Eyraud. Others picked out coach Rudi Garcia.

At the north end, one banner, signed by 'Marseille Trop Puissance', said: "90 minutes of silence for a leadership that wants to kill its own supporters."

Opposite, the 'Winners' wrote their messages in English, presumably for the benefit of McCourt, as American.

"You get scammed, your credibility takes a hit" read one.

"Fire the coach," said another.

The messages were not all aimed at the club. One bore the name of Emiliano Sala, the former Nantes striker whose plane disappeared over the Channel.

During a similar protest in 2016, Marseille were three goals down by the time the fans came in.

This time those fans who stayed away missed little. When they came in the game was still scoreless.

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