Home Sport news Ronald Koeman leaves FC Barcelona

Ronald Koeman leaves FC Barcelona

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Ronald Koeman won a prize against all odds in his first season as FC Barcelona coach. However, that does not seem to offer a guarantee for the future: after an evaluation moment with chairman Joan Laporta, and especially its aftermath, the relationship between club and legend is more than ever under pressure. The feud between Koeman’s agent and the president of Barça could just be the last straw that Laporta needs to get rid of Koeman.

Ronald Koeman knew what he was getting into when he exchanged his position as national coach of the Dutch national team for his dream job as head coach of FC Barcelona last summer. The 57-year-old Zaandammer was able to go to the Camp Nou stadium twice before, but declined a transfer for various reasons. The moment the Catalans, who were put down to earth after a dramatic season and worn out two trainers in one season, were on Koeman’s doorstep for the third time, he could do nothing but accept the offer.

Ronald Koeman at FC Barcelona

Koeman probably had suggested something different about his first year in the service of the Catalans. From the first moment it became clear that president Josep Maria Bartomeu had made a financial mess with the Catalans, leaving the club in a financial shortage when the corona virus stopped generating competition and merchandising revenues. The only summer purchase that Koeman welcomed was Ajax player Sergiño Dest. The American international was taken over for at least twenty million euros and that was also the maximum amount that the Catalans could spend on the transfer market.

This made a claim on Koeman’s creativity. The Dutchman proved to his previous clubs and the Dutch national team that he knows how to deal with a young player. The Dutchman pushed several players from the youth academy through and built a team that consisted for a large part of players from their own stable. That those youngsters were not (yet) enough to compete for the Spanish national championship until the end in the first season, was practically certain at the start of the season. That Koeman still managed to make a serious shot at the La Liga title is a science that was considered impossible after the elimination of Barcelona against Bayern Munich.

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Despite those excellent performances, Koeman is by no means certain of his future. It is of course normal for an employer to have an evaluation moment with an employee, only the run-up to the conversation between Koeman and Laporta is perhaps more interesting than the conversation between the two important forces of FC Barcelona. In the run-up, names like Xavi (Al-Sadd) and Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) were linked back to Barcelona, ​​which Laporta said was “disrespectful to a Barcelona legend like Koeman”.

Contradictory Statements

With today’s wisdom, Laporta’s statement about treating Koeman disrespectfully has been put in a different perspective. Although Koeman and his agent Rob Janssen had a good feeling about the conversation with the Barcelona preces, it became clear that the vision of Laporta and Koeman does not match. At least: you can assume that when you receive a notification that your club will take two weeks to find a replacement for you. It is commendable that Laporta has been open and honest with Koeman about this – there are more cases where a trainer gropes in the dark until he gets his congé. But to use the words of the chairman himself, is this the way to deal with a great Barcelona legend?

The human answer to that question seems ‘no’, but for Laporta it is without a doubt a ‘yes’. The chairman himself went a step further by stating at another press conference that Koeman had been hospitalized urgently after allegedly having had an anxiety attack. Manager Janssen and Koeman himself responded later that nothing was wrong at all. After a routine check-up at the hospital, Koeman had boarded a plane to the Netherlands to spend a few days with his family. If this had been an isolated fact, it could have come under the heading ‘coincidence’. That this is Laporta’s second contradictory statement in one week, of course, rules that out.

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In doing so, Laporta actually shows its trump cards right away: the chairman knows that a dismissal of Koeman will cost the club about thirteen million euros – money that the club can currently better spend on elsewhere. It is therefore clear to Laporta what needs to be done: Koeman’s confidence in further cooperation with FC Barcelona (read: Laporta) must be damaged in such a way that at the end of the next conversation Koeman says: “Enough, I will stop. with it. ”

The moment you resign yourself, you also waive the right to the remainder of the contract. As a result, FC Barcelona does not have to put a lump sum payment on the table for Koeman, because the decision to terminate the contract is his and not FC Barcelona’s. A painful detail is that Laporta cannot count on the support of the rest of the board: the upcoming transfer of Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) and the possible arrival of Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyon) show that Koeman does have something to say. at Camp Nou and that he is also listened to.

Forced departure

And yet, as silly as it sounds, the moment the biggest boss wants to handle an unworkable situation, he will probably succeed. The tweet that Janssen’s business manager sent out into the world, in which it lashed out hard at Laporta’s way of doing things, is therefore only grist to the mill of the Catalans’ most important administrator. The question is, however, whether Laporta has thought about the alternatives. Finding a new top trainer in two weeks is a big job, especially when you look at the picture that Barcelona can present: an old selection, a dramatic financial situation and you are dealing with an unpredictable chairman who makes the headlines with untruths.

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That is why there seems to be only one solution at the moment: a departure of Koeman from FC Barcelona. The head coach will never leave for his own consideration, so Barça will have to pull the wallet anyway when Koeman is actually shown the door in the coming weeks. At the moment, however, that seems to be a bigger problem for FC Barcelona than for Koeman himself, who after a year like last season can start at any top club in the world.

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