PARIS (AP) — Struggling Monaco fired vice president Vadim Vasilyev on Thursday, the latest shakeup in a difficult season which has seen two coaches sacked and one of them re-hired.
Club president Dmitry Rybolovlev, who rarely makes public comments, explained the decision in a statement.
"It's the time for changes, and these changes don't only affect the squad but the directors," Rybolovlev said. "I've therefore taken a decision which is very hard for me, to relinquish Vadim Vasilyev of his functions as vice president and general director of the club."
Vasilyev joined Monaco in 2013 and oversaw the sale of several key players from Monaco's title-winning side in 2017, with attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva and speedy left back Benjamin Mendy joining Manchester City in lucrative transfer deals .
But the players who came in to fill the void failed to gel. Although Monaco finished second last season, the club has fared badly during a fraught campaign so far.
Coach Leonardo Jardim was re-hired last month to save the club from regelation, having himself been fired in October. He was brought back in after his successor Thierry Henry was sacked .
This calamitous situation was not only embarrassing for the eight-time French champion and four-time Champions League semifinalist, but also hit Monaco hard financially in terms of two large compensation packages within a matter of months.
Rybolovlev clearly appeared to blame Vasilyev for the way he handled the initial sacking of Jardim, the coach who led Monaco to the league title and the Champions League semis two years ago.
"Recently I have been actively involved in managing and resolving the club's problems. I've taken a number of decisions which have been difficult, but necessary, in my opinion," Rybolovlev said. "I felt the need to personally call Leonardo Jardim to apologize for the mistake made in October."
With 14 games left, Monaco is in 18th place ahead of its home game against Nantes on Saturday.
"It's with a great emotion that I'm leaving my position," Vasilyev said. "I would like to send all my best wishes to Leonardo, of course, but also to the whole team. I'm sure the squad is on the right track."
Rybolovlev said a new candidate to replace Vasilyev will be presented to the club's administrative council next Friday.
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