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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Barcelona fire head coach Quique Setien after UEFA Champions League exit

Barcelona have decided to part ways with their head coach Quique Setien after finishing the 2019/20 season trophyless.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: August 18, 2020 1:46:44 pm
Quique Setien joined Barcelona in February this year. (Source: File)

Barcelona have sacked their head coach Quique Setien, the club said on Monday, three days after the club was hammered by Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Setien, 61, was appointed in January after the club sacked two-time league winner Ernesto Valverde despite his side sitting top of the La Liga standings on goal difference.

Under his leadership, Barcelona finished the 2019/20 La Liga campaign on second-place, five points behind champions Real Madrid. They lost to Athletic Bilbao at the quarter-final stage in the Copa del Rey too.

On Friday, Barcelona ended their season trophyless as they got knocked out of the UEFA Champions League courtesy of a humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich.

“This is the first decision within a wider restructuring of the first team which will be agreed between the current technical secretary and the new coach, who will be announced in the coming days,” said the club statement.

According to The Guardian, the current Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman is set to be appointed as the manager at Camp Nou by next week.

READ | Barcelona’s defeat to Bayern exposes problems that run deep

The statement, which was released more than nine hours after president Josep Maria Bartomeu and directors had begun a board meeting, also said the club’s hierarchy had decided against calling an election imminently in the wake of the Bayern defeat.

“The board understand that an immediate call for elections is not feasible, given that the league season will begin on the weekend of September 12, 2020, and the situation arising from the COVID-19 crisis – both economically and socially,” added the statement.

“Consequently, 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.”

As at Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, and Osasuna, Barcelona presidents are voted for by club members.

Bartomeu won the last election, held in 2015, but is barred from running in the next round of elections as he has already served two consecutive mandates, having been named president in 2014 after the resignation of Sandro Rosell.

Victor Font is the front-runner for the election, while former president Joan Laporta has also declared his intention to run.

(with Reuters inputs)

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