Football

Valencia sack coach Albert Celades, sporting director resigns

Valencia have sacked coach Albert Celades and appointed long-standing club servant Voro until the end of the season, the La Liga club said in a statement on Monday.

Sporting director Cesar Sanchez then announced his resignation shortly after Celades was dismissed, deepening the institutional crisis at one of Spain's most prestigious clubs.

According to Spanish media reports, Sanchez decided to resign after telling the squad earlier on Monday that Celades would remain in charge for tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) game against Athletic Bilbao, only for him to be sacked hours later.

Celades is the sixth manager Valencia have sacked since the club was bought by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim in 2014. Sanchez, who was appointed in January, is the sixth sporting director to have left the role in the same period.

Valencia appointed Celades last September after taking the surprising decision to dispense with Marcelino, who had led the club to successive top-four finishes and ended an 11-year wait for a major trophy by guiding them to Copa del Rey success.

Celades had never previously been a first-team coach at club level, building his reputation as Spain's Under-21 coach and as an assistant to Julen Lopetegui with Spain and Real Madrid.

The ex-Barcelona player was let go after Sunday's 2-0 loss at Villarreal, which followed the defeat by struggling Eibar. The losses left the team eighth in the standings on 46 points, eight behind fourth-placed Sevilla with six games remaining.

In fifth place and two points behind Sevilla are Getafe, who beat Real Sociedad 2-1 at home yesterday morning (Singapore time), thanks to two goals from striker Jaime Mata after Adnan Januzaj had levelled in the second half for Sociedad. - REUTERS

Football