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Lyon replace Fournier with assistant Genesio

Lyon have announced Hubert Fournier will be replaced as head coach by assistant Bruno Genesio until the end of the season.

Speculation mounted concerning Fournier’s future over recent days following a disappointing campaign to date, with Lyon languishing ninth in Ligue 1 and five points shy of the top three having been eliminated from the Champions League.

Club president Jean-Michel Aulas pledged to announce “a certain number of changes” following Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Gazelec Ajaccio, which continued a dismal run of one point from six matches following the 3-0 derby triumph over Saint-Etienne on November 8.

Fournier enjoyed an impressive first season in charge, establishing Lyon as title contenders before they fell away to finish as runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain, but they have been some way short of such form this time around.

Further details surrounding Genesio’s appointment are expected to be announced at a news conference on Monday, when he will lead training for the first time in the build-up to the Coupe de France tie at Limoges.

The 49-year-old was a product of Lyon’s youth system before enjoying a 10-year playing career with the club between 1985 and 1995. 

Gerard Houllier brought Genesio on to the Lyon coaching staff in 2005 and he became assistant coach from the 2013-14 season.

A club statement from Lyon read: “The first part of the 2015-16 Olympique Lyonnais season was considerably below the expectations of the club. A 9th-place finish [in 2015] in Ligue 1; six points [off] second place [to] qualifying directly for the Champions League – the main objective of the season; elimination from European competition with a fourth-place finish after the group matches of the Champions League.

“Extensive consultations were conducted with the most suitable technical staff, internal but also external. Following these consultations, the president Jean-Michel Aulas, in consultation with the vice-chairman of the group, Jerome Seydoux, decided to change the organisation of the staff of the professional team.”

The statement revealed Lyon considered the prospect of appointing a foreign coach – reports in Italy had linked Filippo Inzaghi with the role – or one from the French domestic game before opting to promote from within.

It continued: “Different hypotheses have been studied (arrivals of foreign technicians, French, internal promotion), which led to be effective as soon as possible and from January 3 in the Coupe de France against Limoges the decision… entrusting until the end of this season, in the first instance, the position of coach [to] Bruno Genesio, who will take office upon the resumption of training, Monday, December 28.”

Thu 24 Dec, 2015
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