Bayern Munich confirmed in a statement posted on their website on Thursday that they had fired head coach Carlo Ancelotti after just over a season in the job.
“The performances of our team since the start of the season had met out expectations. The match in Paris clearly showed that there would have to be consequences,” Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in the statement.
“I thank Carlo for his work with us and regret the way things have developed,” he added. “Carlo is and will continue to be my friend, but we had to take a professional decision in the interests of Bayern Munich.
Rummenigge also confirmed that assistant coach Willy Sagnol would take charge of training effective immediately and that he would be on the bench for Bayern’s next Bundesliga match, against Hertha in Berlin on Sunday.
The move came after top brass at the club had gathered for a crisis meeting in the Bavarian capital on Thursday, just hours after the team had returned from Paris,where they were defeated 3-0 by Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The move doesn’t come as a complete surpise, as Rummenigge had warned of “consequences” at the team’s banquet following the club’s biggest group-stage defeat in Europe’s premium club tournament.
“I think what we saw tonight was not Bayern Munich. It is important that we get back on track after this game and present ourselves as Bayern Munich.”
Ancelotti had raised eyebrows by benching several key players, particularly key central defenders Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels.
Bayern, third in the Bundesliga after six matches, have been mainly unconvincing this season which is the second on Ancelotti’s three-year contract, which ran until 2019. There has also been speculation that Ancelotti had fallen out with some of his players, particularly Franck Ribery, who was one of those left on the bench on Wednesday. However, Ancelotti has denied this.
The former AC Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSG coach took over from Pep Guardiola in 2016 and under his tuteledge, Bayern dominated the Bundesliga, winning the title by a margin of 15 points over second-placed RB Leipzig. However, he failed to achieve the primary goal that he had been entrusted with; leading Bayern Munich to their first Champions League title since 2013.