Ronald Koeman is FINALLY sacked by Barcelona as Catalans put Dutch boss out of his misery after dismal defeat by Rayo Vallecano left crisis club down in ninth place in LaLiga amid financial turmoil
Ronald Koeman has been sacked by Barcelona after overseeing their worst start to a season since the 1987-88 campaign.
They finished sixth that year – a similar season would leave them outside the Champions League and have catastrophic consequences for the club’s already fragile finances.
They are currently floundering in ninth almost closer to the relegation zone than to the top of the table.
Ronald Koeman has been sacked by Barcelona after their defeat by Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga
The under-fire boss was relieved of his duties following Barcelona’s defeat by Rayo Vallecano
Koeman was fired on the flight back from a 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano.
Barcelona had not lost against the small Madrid-based club for 19 years when Louis van Gaal was in charge.
The 1-0 defeat could have ended very differently had Memphis Depay not missed a penalty and Sergino Dest not blazed over from five yards out.
But that has been the story of Barcelona’s season. They have scored just one goal away from home and are yet to win on the road.
Things have been no better in Europe where Barcelona lost their first two group games for the first time in Champions League history.
Barcelona have won just three of their last 10 games in all competitions under the Dutchman
Barcelona president Joan Laporta relieved Koeman of his duties on Wednesday evening
They won last week against Dynamo Kiev but the unconvincing 1-0 victory still leaves their qualification hanging by a thread.
Koeman’s sacking has been months in the making. The club’s president Joan Laporta openly admitted in the summer that the 58-year-old was remaining in charge because no acceptable alternative could be found.
Koeman looked to have taken charge of his last game before the international break when the team was beaten by Benfica.
Club directors debated his future until 4am after returning from Lisbon with financial concerns preventing them from making the change.
The LaLiga giants are enduring their worst start to a campaign since the 1987-88 season
Sergio Aguero cuts a dejected figure as Barcelona fell to defeat against Rayo Vallecano
Wednesday night’s loss to Rayo saw them slip towards mid-table obscurity and the board decided not to prolong the agony any longer regardless of the difficulties of spending another €12million (£10.1m) on paying him off.
Having fired one club legend the club could now turn to another. Laporta has indicated in the past that he feels Xavi Hernandez is still not ready for the big job.
The former captain has also expressed reservations but both parties now believe the time could be right to save the season and build around the young players that have emerged in the last 12 months.
Club legend Xavi has been strongly linked with taking over the crisis-hit club this season
Koeman won the Copa del Rey last season and was given some credit for guiding the team through a difficult campaign having sold Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid, who promptly won the league with the Uruguayan scoring 21 goals.
This summer Lionel Messi left the club and Antoine Griezmann also moved out as Laporta took desperate measures to trim a wage bill that had been at 95 per cent of the club’s revenue even without Messi.
Free transfers came in – some such as Memphis Depay were seen as Koeman recruits – but they failed to make an impact.
It was Memphis who missed the spot kick on Wednesday night that confirmed a third loss of the season and the end of Koeman’s time in charge.