FC Barcelona coach Quique Setien and Lionel Messi during training, Jan 18, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]
MADRID – FC Barcelona sacked coach Quique Setien on Monday following an emergency directors’ meeting called in the wake of Friday’s 8-2 UEFA Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
The club confirmed the decision in a communique issued after a meeting that lasted for over four hours, with the confirmation finally published nine hours after the start of the meeting.
“The board of directors have agreed that Quique Setien is no longer the first-team coach. 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,” confirmed the FC Barcelona website.
Setien had only been in the Barcelona job for seven months after replacing Ernesto Valverde in January, and his brief time in the dugout saw Barca’s two-point lead at the top of La Liga turn into a five-point deficit to eventual champions Real Madrid by the end of the season.
Barca were knocked out of the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao in February and Friday’s humiliation against Bayern Munich means the club ends the season without a trophy for the first time in 12 years.
Former Barcelona defender Ronald Koeman, who is currently the coach of the Dutch national team, is the favorite to replace Setien, but whoever replaces him at the Camp Nou will have a difficult task with the club likely to undertake an important remodeling of its squad over the coming weeks.
Among other decisions, the club also confirmed new elections for the FC Barcelona presidency will be held on March 15 2021, before the end of the 2020-21 season.
In purely sporting news, the club also reported that goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen will undergo an operation on his right knee in Barcelona on Tuesday.