La Liga

Bilbao parts ways with Marcelo Bielsa

Athletic Bilbao's coach Marcelo Bielsa
The former Argentine and Chile manager joined Athletic Bilbao in the 2011-12 season.
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Athletic Bilbao will be looking for a new manager after not offering Marcelo Bielsa a contract extension.

Athletic president Josu Urrutia announced at a press conference tonight they had opted not to offer the 57-year-old former Argentina boss a contract for next season, saying the board had unanimously taken the decision in the "best interests" of the club.

The Basque outfit enjoyed a memorable first season under Bielsa but the recently-completed campaign was hugely disappointing as the club found themselves fighting to avoid the drop.

Athletic, one of only three clubs never to have been out of the top flight, finished the season in 12th spot, nine points above the drop zone.

A statement on the club's website, www.athletic-club.net, confirmed: "Josu Urrutia has announced the decision of the club not to offer a contract renewal to Marcelo Bielsa to lead the club next season."

Urrutia, in quotes reported by the Spanish media, explained: "We needed to have guaranteed our (Primera Division) safety to make decisions and from there we started to evaluate many issues about the sporting and institutional areas.

"Last night, in our latest board meeting, we decided unanimously not to propose the continuity of Bielsa, because it is best for the interests of Athletic and we've opted for a change."

Bielsa, a former Argentina and Chile national team coach, led Bilbao to the finals of both the Europa League and Copa del Rey in 2011-12 but disappointed last season.

The Associated Press was used in this report.

 


 

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