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Nice face a season of struggle

France
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Marseille agree Velodrome deal

Marseille will be able to face Montpellier at the Stade Velodrome on Aug. 17.

Marseille and the city authorities have agreed a deal on Thursday that will see the club play their home games at the Stade Velodrome.

OM have already arranged to stage their opening home game of the season on Aug. 17 against Montpellier at the stadium of their opponents after refusing to meet the rental demands of the city authorities.

However, an agreement is now in place that will allow the match to take place at the Velodrome.

OM owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus arrived in the Mediterranean city on Wednesday evening to talk directly with mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin and told L'Equipe on Thursday: "It's a great gesture for the supporters and everyone in Marseille.

"Everyone agrees that the place for OM is at the Velodrome -- that's why I'm happy that we found an agreement acceptable to everyone."

The authorities had initially asked for eight million euros to allow OM to play at the Velodrome, a sum the club declared significantly higher than they were willing to pay.

However, Gaudin softened his stance when the 1992-93 Champions League winners stated their determination not to meet that demand, and began negotiating with opponents to stage "home" matches away from the Velodrome.

Earlier this week, Roland Blum, who oversees the city's budget, revealed OM will likely pay a fixed fee of four million euros with further payments depending on the team's achievements on the pitch.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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