Lack of confidence causes Been resignation
Mario Been has quit as coach of Feyenoord after the squad turned against him, the Eredivisie club have announced.
The 47-year-old took charge of the Rotterdam side in 2009, but they struggled for form last season and could only manage a tenth-placed finish in the league. Feyenoord posted a statement on their official website today, which said Been made the decision to leave after being made aware the players no longer wanted him at the helm.
"Been came to his decision yesterday after captain Ron Vlaar told technical director Martin Van Geel that the majority of players had lost confidence in any further cooperation with the coach," the club said. "Been left the training camp in Ermelo and said he would immediately quit as head coach of Feyenoord."
Van Geel admitted Been's resignation had been a "bolt from the blue". "We are extremely surprised by this. It is deeply regrettable, especially considering the timing," he said. "We'd had no signs that pointed to such a fatal breach in trust from the majority of the squad."
The new Eredivisie season gets underway in just over three weeks and Van Geel is now charged with the task of finding a new coach as quickly as possible. "The news is too fresh to have had a good think about a solution," he said. "The main thing now is for the management and the players to find a successful outcome this week."
Van Geel, who only joined the Rotterdam club as technical director this summer, was quick to stress Been's decision had nothing to do with the Feyenoord board. "We have tried everything to get this off the table," he said. "We asked the players not to do it, give it a chance and realise the greater responsibility of the squad.
"But the conclusion of the players was that there was no confidence in Mario Been. They were adamant. This is emphatically not a decision of the board and we cannot and will not take responsibility. The responsibility lies entirely with the players.
"I've only just started here and wanted to support Mario Been, and help Feyenoord to do better this season than the last one. This has damaged Feyenoord's plans enormously. When I started at Feyenoord I knew a challenge was waiting. But what has happened in recent days has thrown the whole club backwards."
Meeting made feelings clear
Vlaar, meanwhile, said he took it upon himself to speak to Van Geel after the players had held a meeting earlier this week, during which a vote was also taken. "The purpose of the meeting was to create clarity, but during the course of our conversation I noticed a lot of irritation among the players," said the defender.
"This was the first time the irritation had been so clearly expressed. I could have done nothing and let everything simmer, but I felt I had to take responsibility and therefore requested a meeting with Mr Van Geel.
"I clearly asked the players who was for and who was against, when it appeared the majority of players had lost faith. We knew what the consequences might be and Mr Van Geel has made it very clear the implications of our action. We as a squad will take the responsibility this season to do much better than we did last year."