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Ex-Wanderer Franck Passi Takes Charge of Marseille

Former Bolton midfielder appointed as the struggling French side's caretaker manager

Former Bolton man Franck Passi is in temporary charge of Marseille
Former Bolton man Franck Passi is in temporary charge of Marseille
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Marseille, the former giants of European football who won the Champions League back in 1993, have appointed former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Franck Passi as their new caretaker manager.

Passi, now 50, has been placed in temporary charge after the nine-time French champions lost patience with former manager Michel, who has been suspended after the side's 2-1 defeat to Monaco on Sunday left them with just one win from their last 12 matches.

Supporters protested about Michel - a former midfielder who played 404 games for Real Madrid and won 70 caps for Spain, and previously managed Getafe, Sevilla and Olympiakos - on April 10, after a 0-0 draw with Bordeaux and Marseille's owner has since put the club up for sale.

To say it's an interesting situation is somewhat of an understatement, and the club's statement on the issue is a little strange. It stated:

"Given the behaviour of Michel, especially in the last three weeks, Marseille have suspended him with immediate effect and summoned him to a preliminary hearing.

"Until the end of the season, Franck Passi, the assistant coach, will oversee the team and will be assisted by Basile Boli."

Passi has been part of the backroom staff at Marseille for nearly a decade, having joined as a scout back in 2007. After three years he was promoted to reserve team coach  before being promoted again two years later - this time becoming assistant to then manager Elie Baup. He's remained in that role despite three subsequent changes in manager, staying as assistant manager to Jose Anigo, former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa and Michel. Apparently he was also caretaker boss upon Bielsa being sacked last July.

Passi was signed for Bolton by Sam Allardyce way back in 1999 and made 38 appearances for the club, before retiring from football two years later. Prior to joining Bolton he played in the Champions League for both Monaco and Marseille, but he was pretty rubbish by the time he arrived at the Reebok - apart from once hitting the bar from the half-way line, allegedly.

Interestingly, Passi will be assisted by the absolute legend that is former Auxerre, Marseille and Monaco defender asile Boli. Boli, who won 45 caps for France, was forced to leave Marseille in 1994 amid match-fixing scandals and the club's relegation, and he joined Rangers. He also did this to Stuart Pearce back at Euro 92 - so he is obviously absolutely mental: