Barcelona, August 18
Barcelona fired coach Quique Setién, three days after the group’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich within the quarterfinals of the Champions League, step one in what it mentioned could be “a wide-ranging restructuring” of the membership.
The determination was introduced after an pressing board assembly summoned by president Josep Bartomeu in Barcelona. The membership additionally introduced new elections for March 2021 and mentioned “profound changes” had been coming for the primary group.
A substitute to Setién was not instantly introduced however Spanish media mentioned Dutch coach Ronald Koeman was the front-runner to take cost. The former Barcelona defender was reportedly already in Barcelona.
Barcelona mentioned: “The new coach will be announced in the coming days as part of a wide-ranging restructuring of the first team.”
The new elections subsequent March imply that the board will “assume full responsibility regarding the 2020-2021 financial year.”
“The club will continue to implement the plan to reverse the sporting and economic situation, based on profound changes to the first team, plus a redefined budget to deal with the new situation caused by COVID-19, before the end of the current mandate,” Barcelona mentioned in an announcement.
Bartomeu, who was closely criticised for his membership administration just lately, has been on the membership’s helm since 2014.
The loss to Bayern ended a disappointing season for the Catalan membership, the primary and not using a title since 2007-08. The group had already gone by a training change when Setién changed Ernesto Valverde amid poor leads to January. The season was additionally marked by disputes between gamers and membership administrators over a sequence of points, and the group misplaced the Spanish league title to Real Madrid regardless of getting back from the pandemic break with the lead atop the standings.
Lionel Messi had been among the many outspoken gamers towards among the membership’s choices, and Gerard Piqué made his views clear minutes after the rout towards Bayern – arguably essentially the most devastating loss within the historical past of the 120-year-old membership.
“We have hit rock bottom. This club needs changes at every level,” Piqué mentioned.
“I don’t mean just players and the coaching staff … the club needs structural changes.”
Many had referred to as for Bartomeu to name early elections to assist carry these modifications to the membership. The president had mentioned after the sport in Lisbon that it wasn’t “the time to make knee-jerk decisions”.
Friday’s defeat stored Barcelona and not using a European title since 2015, and highlighted the attainable finish of an period for an growing old squad. Messi, Piqué, Luis Suárez and Arturo Vidal are all 33 years previous, whereas Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic are 32 and Jordi Alba 31.
Youngsters Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig have proven promise however it stays too early to know the way a lot they’ll be capable of contribute to the principle squad.
Setién was employed after good campaigns with Real Betis. The group performed solely 25 matches throughout his time in cost, with 16 wins 4 attracts and 5 losses. Among the setbacks had been a defeat within the “clásico” towards Real Madrid and a loss to Athletic Bilbao within the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.
Former Tottenham supervisor Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Barcelona participant Xavi Hernández had been among the many different candidates in rivalry, in response to Spanish media, however it was Koeman who appeared set to take over.
The 57-year-old Koeman grew to become an assistant to Louis van Gaal at Barcelona within the late 1990s, shortly after retiring as a participant. He performed with the membership within the early 1990s, successful 4 straight Spanish league titles from 1991-94. He additionally scored the extra-time winner that gave Barcelona its first European title in 1992.
Koeman performed for the Netherlands within the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, and gained the 1988 European Championship with the nationwide group.
He has been teaching the Dutch nationwide group since 2018, main it to the Nations League Finals final yr. His contract with the nationwide group was legitimate till after the 2022 World Cup.
Koeman beforehand additionally coached Everton, Southampton, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia, amongst different golf equipment. AP