Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa is seeking three million euros ($2.93 million) in compensation from Marseille, the club he left in 2015, his lawyers told a French court on Friday.
Bielsa quit Marseille in August 2015. Since then he spent two days at Lazio, 13 games in charge at Lille and almost four years at Leeds. He led the English giants back to the Premier League and then to a ninth place finish, but was fired in February with his team on the edge of the relegation zone.
In Bielsa’s first season at Marseille, the club was top at the halfway point before finishing fourth.
He quit one game into the following season blaming a disagreement with the club over his contract.
On Friday, his lawyers Benjamin Cabagno and Arnaud Ibanez, denounced “wrongdoing” and an “unfair strategy” of Marseille in reneging on a promise of a 25% pay rise.
“OM manipulated the system,” said the lawyers.
Bielsa is seeking the extra 25%, worth 2,775,000 euros plus other damages including 180,000 euros for the damage to his image.
“For the general public, he is the one responsible. By resigning in the middle of the season, he has taken a lot of blame,” said Cabagno.
Marseille have asked the court to dismiss the case, saying then president Vincent Labrune had been negotiating with Bielsa.
The industrial relations court of Marseille is due to give its decision on January 27.
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