Ricardo La Volpe faced an uncertain future in Guadalajara after Sunday’s humiliating demise to Monterrey concluded the Clausura.
Instead of grasping the reprieve afforded by the failings of others and snatching the eighth and final Liguilla berth, Chivas chucked away the opportunity and succumbed to a season-ending 1-0 defeat at Estadio Omnilife.
The sack always loomed as a potential option for La Volpe at that point, but it looked like he might actually keep his job despite missing the playoffs and registering just one win in four attempts since his appointment on April 2. The focus quickly turned to laying the groundwork for the future and strengthening the side during the close season.
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Those plans were once again thrown into chaos on Wednesday afternoon when the club dismissed La Volpe for alleged inappropriate conduct toward a female employee.
En Conferencia de Prensa @jorgevergara anuncia que Ricardo La Volpe está fuera de @Chivas por conducta inapropiada con una persona del staff
Chivas owner Jorge Vergara did not expound upon the particulars behind the alleged transgressions, though he did note the incident came to attention yesterday and fell under the purview of the local authorities.
“It is very important to the principles of the club, our company, Angelica (Fuentes, Vergara’s wife) and me,” Vergara said during a press conference held in Guadalajara. “We promote the respect of women. This is very delicate and serious. Hopefully, we can turn this around and find the right people to continue our project at Chivas. This is the most distressing news. Something like this, more painful than this, will not happen again.”
The exact details regarding La Volpe’s departure will filter out in the coming days and weeks, but the finality of Vergara’s verdict leaves Chivas to search for its ninth manager since January 2012.
The prospect of embarking upon yet another coaching search highlights the constant turmoil and the pervasive turnover within the ranks over the past few years. It is incumbent on the club to establish some form of continuity with this appointment to provide a base to rectify the ongoing concerns on the field and steer the club away from any potential relegation concerns next year.
“We are moving along and we have some candidates,” Chivas sporting director Francisco Palencia told reporters. "We hope that they can be declared appropriate for us. Everything remains in place for the preseason and for pursuing the necessary reinforcements for the team.”
Former Mexico boss José Manuel de la Torre looms as the most logical choice for a second spell as boss given his extensive ties to the club (the Guadalajara-born coach also played for the club twice during his career) and his success in delivering Chivas’ last title back in the 2006 Apertura. Victor Manuel Vucetich also remains out of work, but the former Monterrey boss clashed with Vergara during his brief spell in charge of the national team. Other names will inevitably surface as Chivas seeks to make the right appointment.
At this stage, Vergara must identify a long-term solution and provide his selected coach with the necessary backing and support to implement a cohesive vision for the club. It isn’t a path Vergara has followed in the past, but it is one he must trod now to carry his side away from this latest embarrassment and turn course toward a brighter future.