Football: Valencia's woes deepen as sporting director resigns

Former Valencia sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch has been criticised for bringing in poor players that contributed to the club's struggles.
Former Valencia sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch has been criticised for bringing in poor players that contributed to the club's struggles.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

MADRID • Spanish football club Valencia suffered another setback on Saturday, when sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch resigned.

The 53-year-old, appointed a year ago, had offered his resignation 10 days ago when Italian coach Cesare Prandelli quit the club, although it was rejected by president Chan Lay Hoon .

However a statement from Valencia said: "Jesus Garcia Pitarch has resigned irrevocably from his role as sporting director. Current VCF academy director Jose Ramon Alesanco will take on the position in an interim capacity.

"His immediate tasks will be to continue with the work scheduled for the current winter market, and work on everything related to the Valencia first team in coordination with coach Salvador 'Voro' Gonzalez."

Pitarch, the former Valencia winger who was brought in in January last year during Gary Neville's short reign as head coach, had been criticised for his role in the club's decline since being hired a year ago.

His resignation came a day after former Valencia chairman Paco Roig launched a scathing attack on his work at the club.

"Jesus Garcia Pitarch says nothing but nonsense and has bought (terrible) players," Roig told El Chiringuito TV . "What has Pitarch done to deserve leading Spain's third-biggest club?"

Valencia are outside La Liga relegation zone only on goal difference. The club have hired eight coaches since parting ways with Unai Emery in 2012.

Their most recent appointment, Prandelli, resigned less than three months after taking the role, claiming that he was not able sign the player he wanted in the January transfer window.

However, in an exclusive e-mail interview with The Sunday Times, Valencia's executive director Anil Murthy explained that the Italian manager knew the club faced constraints in the transfer market, owing to Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

He added: "We have moved on very quickly from Prandelli. Things are unfortunately more complicated now with his sudden departure. We will continue to try to reinforce the team in the market."

Valencia visit bottom side Osasuna today.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2017, with the headline 'Valencia's woes deepen as sporting director resigns'. Print Edition | Subscribe