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One of football's best-loved coaches resigned in pretty unique circumstances last night

Marcelo Bielsa only took over at Marseille in May of last year.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

MARCELO BIELSA SENSATIONALLY stepped down as Marseille manager on Saturday evening – immediately after his side lost to Caen in their first game of the season.

The much-loved Argentine only arrived at the Ligue 1 giants in May of last year but after an encouraging start, the side struggled and eventually finished a distant fourth.

After the slender home loss last night, Bielsa handed his letter of resignation to club president Vincent Labrune before publicly announcing his decision to resign in his post-match press conference.

“I have finished my work here”, he said.

“I will return to my home country.”

Local newspaper La Provence have published Bielsa’s letter and the 60-year-old outlined how a contractual dispute was the root cause of him stepping away.

As you know, I turned down several major offers because I wanted to stay at Marseille. I don’t regret that, and I did it with a lot of enthusiasm as I was very attracted by this project. I adapted to the constant variations on the sporting front, but after three months of discussions and two days before the start of the competitive games, I cannot accept the situation of instability that they generated by wanting to change the contract.”  

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Labrune later expressed his shock at the development and said a meeting on Wednesday to go through some minor details of a proposed new deal had been cordial, with all of Bielsa’s demands being met.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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