July 2, 2014

Valencia fire coach after half season

Valencia fire coach after half season

MADRID  (AFP) – Six-time Spanish champions Valencia have sacked coach Juan Antonio Pizzi after just six months in the job, the club announced on Wednesday.

Valencia, who finished eighth in the first division last season, said they fired the 46-year-old Argentinian to give “stability to the future sporting plans” of the team, which has been sold to Singapore businessman Peter Lim.

“The Valencia board, after analysing all the possibilities at this complex and crucial point of time for Juan-Antonio-Pizzishareholders, has taken the decision to dispense with the services of Juan Antonio Pizzi as coach,” the club said in a statement.

“Valencia Football Club wish the best of luck to Pizzi and his coaching staff, who have worked with the team with professionalism and dedication.”

Pizzi, a former striker with Valencia, was only appointed to the coaching job on December 26 to replace Serbian Miroslav Djukic, who also survived just six months before being axed.

Singapore’s Lim took a controlling stake of the financially-stricken club after his bid to buy a 70 percent stake was unanimously accepted in May by the club’s foundation.

Valencia bosses had been looking for investors since principal creditor Bankia refused back in December to refinance the combined 306 million euro ($530 million) debt the club and its foundation had with the bank.

Lim, 60, has a net worth of $2.05 billion, making him Singapore’s fifth richest man, according to business magazine Forbes.