Adelaide United have confirmed head coach Josep Gombau has been allowed to leave the club on compassionate grounds, with Guillermo Amor set to take over.
The South Australian club staged a press conference on Friday to announce the Spaniard will be allowed to leave despite having two years remaining on his existing contract.
“The reason we’re here is to explain this decision was the hardest decision I’ve made in my career,” Gombau said.
“The decision is because of family and finding a balance between my work and family life.”
Adelaide chairman Greg Griffin praised Gombau’s contribution to the team’s style of play and backed new boss Amor, a former Barcelona player, to continue that good work.
“Josep has transformed our style and our club and he has revolutionised our football club,” Griffin said.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce Guillermo Amor to be the new head coach of our club as of August 1.
“This is to be a seamless transition and considering the circumstances it’s moved very smoothly.”
Gombau, 39, had been linked with a move to Major League Soccer newcomers New York City FC, the home of Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and David Villa.
The Spaniard is set to go to New York to be an academy coach.
The loss of Gombau is a major blow to the Reds, who have reached the A-League finals twice under his tenure, advancing to the semi-finals last season and winning the inaugural FFA Cup, while playing attractive, possession-based football.
His successor, 47-year-old Amor, made over 300 league appearances for Barcelona and joined Adelaide, initially as technical director, last year.
The Reds lost 2-0 to Premier League club Liverpool in an exhibition game at a packed Adelaide Oval on Monday.
They begin their defence of the FFA Cup away to Darwin Olympic on August 5.
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