Saint Etienne sack Roussey

Struggling French fallen giants Saint Etienne said on Monday they had sacked coach Laurent Roussey after a weekend loss at home to Rennes plunged them into the drop zone.

The 46-year-old had already been on notice to improve their dreadful league form, though he enjoyed a moment's respite with a UEFA Cup success in midweek over Norway's Rosenborg. But after Sunday's 3-0 home loss to Rennes brought a ninth league loss in 13 outings, the club where Michel Platini, now UEFA president, made his name in the 1970s and early 1980s acted.

Within minutes of the Rennes game officials said they had brought in Damien Comolli, who lost his job as Tottenham's sporting director following last month's sacking of manager Juande Ramos, in a similar role. Comolli worked as a scout at Arsenal between 1996 and 2004 and thereafter spent a year with Saint Etienne before heading to White Hart Lane.

And Roussey, capped twice by France, told reporters on Sunday night before learning of his fate that he understood that the idea was Comolli would replace him in due course.

The club have won the league title ten times but the last time was in 1981, when Roussey was a member of the team, while in 1976 they were a feared name on the continent, losing the European Cup final to Bayern Munich.