FC Barcelona have sacked coach Ernesto Valverde with immediate effect despite the club still topping La Liga table in Spain.
Ernesto Valverde’s tenure as Barcelona coach came to an end on Monday evening after club directors voted in favour of terminating his contract with the club. Valverde supervised this morning’s training session at the Ciutat Esportiva before holding a brief meeting with club president Josep María Bartomeu. Quique Setién has agreed terms to take over as Barcelona coachalthough by late on Monday night there was still no official word from the club. At the time of punlication, Setién’s agent Edoardo Crnjar was negotiating the terms of the contract with Bartomeu and Valfverde’s representatives finalising details of his severance package.
Directors were called for a crisis meeting shortly after 15:00 hours today and took over three hours to reach a final decision. A statement was expected at 21:00 hours, supposedly to confirming Valverde’s dismissal and Setién’s appointment. By 22:30 there was still no official word from the club.
Valverde leaves with Barcelona as the defending LaLiga champions, topping the table on goal difference and with a Champions League Last 16 tie against Napoli to look forward to next month. He is the first Barça coach to be axed by the club since Louis van Gaal in 2003.
EXCERPTS OF TEXT FROM EN.AS.COM