Thursday 14 December 2023, Amex Stadium, Brighton.
UEFA Europa League Match Brighton 1, Marseille nil
Who are the people behind all this football excitement?
Netflix has recently brought out a mini-series that gives us some idea of the personalities behind the sport, although great individualism must be one of the characteristics making generalisations not a safe bet.
Netflix three part series, CLASS ACT is about a former owner of Marseille who brought the club up from being mediocre to being champions, partly by his inspirational leadership.
Frenchman, Bernard Tapie died in 2021 and didn’t want Netflix to tell the story of his life, but they did it and it is an amazing story of a working class boy who through entrepreneurship and a great ability to talk and inspire became a multimillionaire. He bought up bankrupt companies and turned them around, most notably Adidas which he bought for one euro. At one time he was a highly popular politician and became a government minister, but that lasted only about thirty days.
Eventually he bought Marseille football club and turned it into a great success. Then his ambition got out of hand and he started match-fixing. He tried to influence the judge in his favour. He was put on trial, found guilty and sent to prison.
Tapie was banned from running another business in France, so he turned to acting and became a very successful film star.
The series is a story of triumphs and failures, ambition, inspiration, leadership, energy, charisma and megalomania It’s in French with subtitles. I found it fascinating.