Lokomotiv Moscow give coach 10-day ultimatum

Moscow, June 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Lokomotiv Moscow head coach Slaven Bilic has been given 10 days to draw up a plan to rescue the football team after leading it to its worst-ever Russian Premier League finish.

Bilic and team president Olga Smorodskaya presented a scheme to end the team’s decline at a board meeting Wednesday, but it was turned down and the duo was ordered to come back with another plan.

“The programme presented by the president of the team and the head coach for leaving the crisis situation has not been accepted,” Lokomotiv said in a website statement. “The president of the team and the head coach have been mandated to rework the programme within 10 days and present it again to the board of directors.”

Only then will a decision be taken whether or not to fire the pair, Lokomotiv said.

Bilic’s first year in charge of the Russian two-time champions ended with Lokomotiv finishing ninth, below the seventh-place result that cost Bilic’s predecessor Jose Couceiro his job last year.

Bilic, 44, has two years left on his contract. Some reports in Russia have indicated a large dismissal fee in the Croatian’s contract could dissuade Lokomotiv from firing him.

Smorodskaya has long been the target of protests from fans angry at the team’s poor performances and her controversial decision to allow rivals Anzhi Makhachkala to play some of their European games on Lokomotiv’s field.

Lokomotiv is owned by state firm Russian Railways, whose head Vladimir Yakunin expressed support for Bilic earlier this week.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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