Tony Cascarino has revealed how former Marseille president Bernard Tapie once accused him of being paid by a journalist to miss in a European game – and then tried to fight him!

The former striker left Chelsea in 1994 and joined the French club, making a bright start to life in Ligue 1.

Cascarino spent three years at Marseille

AFP – Getty

Cascarino spent three years at Marseille

Not long after he had signed, Cascarino had a bust-up with Tapie in the dressing room at half-time of a match against Olympiakos.

The former Republic of Ireland international recalled the bizarre story on Weekend Sports Breakfast.

“We were playing in a European game against Olympiakos and I was speaking to an English journalist before the game,” Cascarino said.

“I’d only just joined and I’d done really well in the month that I’d been at the club. 

“He’s asking me how it’s going and I’m hardly speaking any French and blah, blah, blah.

“We play the first half and go in 1-0 down and I’ve missed two sitters. He’s standing there looking at me in the corner of the dressing room and the manager’s doing the team talk.

“He picked the team and did everything Tapie, he was crazy.

Bernard Tapie was a colourful character at Marseille

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Bernard Tapie was a colourful character at Marseille

“He keeps looking at me and from nowhere and says ‘how much? How me he pay you? The journalist, how much he give you? He’s paid you to miss.’

“I said ‘why would a journalist pay me to miss?’

“He thinks he’s a connection to Olympiacos. All of a sudden he walks to corner and hangs his coat on a peg, puts his fists up in front of me and says ‘c’mon’.

“He’s squaring up to me. I stand up and all the players jump on me as he’s obviously done this before to players.

“I wasn’t the first to be privileged to this situation from Tapie, but he wants to fight me in the dressing room at Olympiakos away.

Cascarino had a great record in France

AFP – Getty

Cascarino had a great record in France

“I’m trying to pull a few players off, swearing at him as he’s saying a few things to me in English, and a few French ones as well.

“We ended up winning 2-1 and he was quite happy after the game.

“The next day we got to the training ground, his car comes on the pitch, he parks it, gets out his car, got a couple of body guards and says to me I’ve got big cahones because I stood up to him.

“He intimidated players all the time. I saw it a number of times where he’d bully them and it wasn’t nice.”

Cascarino’s time at Marseille would ultimately be successful, scoring 61 times in 84 appearances.


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