Thu, Feb 20, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Ex-Swansea coach Laudrup slams club dismissal as ‘silly’

Reuters, LONDON

Michael Laudrup on Tuesday said he was sacked as manager of Premier League side Swansea City earlier this month for a breach of contract.

The 49-year-old Dane, who won the League Cup with the Welsh team last season, held a news conference in London to explain the circumstances surrounding his abrupt dismissal.

Laudrup said he was asked by the Swansea hierarchy to change his backroom staff last month, but refused their request.

Following two meetings with club officials, including chairman Huw Jenkins, Laudrup said he got an e-mail which said that owing to a “breach of contract,” his position had been terminated.

Laudrup did not go into specifics, but said the reasons were given to him nine days after the original decision was made.

“I don’t know what word to use: ‘silly’ or ‘incredible,’ but I can’t go into details,” Laudrup said when asked if he was satisfied with the criteria given by Swansea. “The chairman’s statement gives more questions than answers.”

Asked how he felt he had been treated by the club, Laudrup said: “Pick a feeling. Not that good.”

In Swansea’s Feb. 4 statement announcing that Laudrup had been sacked, Jenkins said: “It is a decision we have taken reluctantly, but it’s a decision made in the best interests of Swansea City Football Club and our supporters.”

“It is the first time in nearly 10 years that the club has parted with a manager in this way, but we had to remove the constant uncertainty surrounding the club and Michael’s long-term future with us,” Jenkins added.

The dispute is now in the hands of lawyers, with Laudrup having signed a new deal last year to stay at the club until June next year.

Laudrup on Tuesday said he was committed to staying at Swansea despite a rift that reportedly formed between his agent, Bayram Tutumlu, and Jenkins.

“At the end of the season, I gave my word to the players and fans that I would stay even though I knew from agents — I didn’t speak to anyone — that a couple of big clubs were interested in me. I said it was important that I keep my word. I don’t run from that, so I will stay,” the former Denmark international said.

Despite the situation, Laudrup said he has fond memories of British soccer and would like to work in the Premier League again.

Swansea fired Laudrup with the team in 12th place, two points above the relegation zone after losing six of eight league games. They are now 10th, four points off relegation, with 12 games to go.

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