Fans were forced to change their pre-game habits

“Who is excluded, who is excluded? All you have to do is exit the Prado roundabout metro entrance to feel all the pre-match excitement of Olympique de Marseille at the Vélodrome stadium. Quietly, seats in stands or corners are being resold, while a few people order a slice of pizza in the trucks lining Boulevard Michelet. Across, Ricards lined up on aluminum trays for better distribution to supporters on the terraces.

A little further on, in front of the steps of the René Dufaure de Montmirail square, founder of Olympique de Marseille, FC Parvis warmed up, and warmed up. This is the nickname given to all the fans who gather in front of the steps of the Vélodrome stadium during the OM pre-match game, to increase the atmosphere. Shrapnel of smoke bombs, repetitions of the anthem for the triumph of Olympique de Marseille and firecrackers and fireworks were fired amidst the crowd. All of course filmed for better showing off on social networks.

Monster glitches and plugs

Fireworks that for some land on the balcony of the Michelet-Prado residence, the bar building of 800 apartments located opposite the Vélodrome stadium, across the street. To the extent that residents have put up a banner, “OM yes, mortar and stop trash”, after residents on the 9th floor received mortar on the balcony of their house. More generally, gatherings of supporters in the vicinity of residences to drink alcohol also created a lot of disturbance, with the smell of urine and an abundance of waste. Not to mention the smart people having fun setting off increasingly loud firecrackers under the residence’s arcade, with a deafening resonant effect.

And amidst all of this, bumper to bumper cars, forced to let in a mob of supporters who wanted to join the stadium after the often-drinking aperitif. And Michelet boulevard, one of the city’s main arteries with two Prado boulevards, is completely jammed. It’s simple, to get to the Vélodrome stadium from Place Castellane, it takes at least an hour on matchdays. As for the Frankfurt team who arrived late to the Vélodrome stadium for their Champions League game, kick-off had to be postponed.

“We have to improve all of that, it’s everyone’s responsibility”

So many of the issues Pablo Longoria is fully aware of, as he told us during his first-half season report last November. “It would be an easy argument to say that the club is not legally responsible because it is a public road. We are morally responsible to help improve the experience. And we have a lot to do, considering that the Vélodrome stadium is right in the center of the city, with the access difficulties we noticed during the games in the middle of the week. We’ve had a lot of discussions with the city hall and police headquarters, everyone has to improve their communication and contact with the supporters, and see how to do that to keep the stadium excited and we respect tradition. For example it’s not normal for traffic plans to be open to everyone, one day we’re going to have a real problem. There’s no way a 5 year old child could be in the middle of a smoke bomb, as well as a car, as a firecracker. We have to improve all of that, it’s everyone’s responsibility, ”recalls the president of OM.

After words, actions. The Club has decided to review the conditions of access to the Vélodrome stadium since the last game against Lorient (3-1) last Saturday. For supporters of the Jean-Bouin stand and the north bend, nothing has changed because access must go through the front yard of the boulevard Michelet. But supporters of the Ganay stand and the south corner must now enter via Dromel, on the other side of the stadium.

“I hope you have your canoe”

The decision was taken to facilitate access, while almost 3/4 of the fans entered through the front yard of Jean Bouin. And who is quick to react to south turn customers. “It’s been 10 years I parked in the same place, I came back at the same time by the same door, angered Teddy, a customer at South Winners. To hell with them. They divided us, what does that mean? All that for FC Parvis, but it just makes me want to go buy firecrackers and fumis and go and play FC Parvis, seriously”. His pal Anthony is a bit more understanding: “It’s good to try to improve everyday life, before closing down the whole residence”.

Jo and Laura, customers of Commando Ultra 84, originally planned to have aperitifs at Ganay’s side, “but everyone came over to Michelet’s side, as usual”. They therefore followed suit, and planned to join Ganay’s forecourt together. “I hope you brought your hiking boots and canoe because we are going to be passing through Huveaune,” warned Teddy, who even wrote to the club to express his dissatisfaction. At around 6pm, an hour from kick-off, here’s a cheery little troop of about fifteen supporters making their way to the Huveaune, the river that runs along the Vélodrome, bounded by a footpath that allows you to walk past the stadium. .

Other actions expected

For OM, it is still too early to judge this novelty, “however the first feedback was positive, even very positive”. Indeed the number of people on Michelet’s side was fewer than usual, although it is very difficult to count, but above all there were hardly any members of the now famous FC Parvis, which angered the fan club, such as Om. “There have been several meetings between the club and the National Police Headquarters, for a better distribution of traffic. We support this new distribution, and for its implementation on Saturday, everything went very well, ”we welcome the Bouches-du-Rhône police headquarters.

On the side of the town halls of the 6th and 8th arrondissement, at the request of residents of the Michelet-Prado residence, we welcome this “first step” forward. “That is good, but still very insufficient, said sector mayor Pierre Benarroche. With 50,000 to 60,000 people recurring, the residents of this district experienced a huge influx. We cannot complain about the success of OM, but other measures are needed to ensure that certain residents are not taken hostage ”. He listed, for example, the establishment of transport for supporters arriving from other towns in the region, or the immediate closure of the Negresko and Raphaël roads to maintain access, for residents but also emergency services, to residences. Teddy, still annoyed, has another solution for him: “Let’s just go down to Ligue 2, at least there won’t be anyone left in front of the stadium”.

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