Olympique de Marseille have sacked Alain Perrin and replaced him with José Anigo, head coach of the club's youth academy and a former Marseille player.
UEFA Cup tie
Marseille are sixth in Ligue 1 after winning ten and losing eight of their 18 matches, the most recent being Saturday's 2-0 defeat by AJ Auxerre. The southern French club have also been knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue and the UEFA Champions League, although they have qualified for the UEFA Cup third round where they will play Ukrainian side FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk over two legs.
The 47-year-old Perrin joined Marseille on a three-year deal from ES Troyes Aube Champagne in May 2002 after leading his former club from the French fourth division to the UEFA Cup. President Christophe Bouchet said of his decision to relieve the coach of his duties: "I've backed Alain Perrin more than any other Marseille president has backed a coach after such a run of defeats, notably at the [Stade] Vélodrome.
"I supported Alain Perrin because I believe in the values of two key things in football: stability and sporting continuity as our rivals have shown in France and abroad. We needed to be firm, there was a problem before the winter break and it did not get better in January.
Being a coach at OM should not be just a step in one coach's career, it should be a total commitment - that is why I chose José Anigo."
Anigo played for Marseille between 1979 and 1987 before moving to Nîmes Olympique and US Endoume, a club he also coached. He returned to the Vélodrome in 1996 and in summer 2001, under Bernard Tapie, briefly took charge of the first team. He said of his turbulent relationship with the chairman: "I learned a lot about football in that period - it made me stronger." The 42-year-old Anigo has signed a contract until the end of the season.
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