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.”
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