3 Champions League Coaches Who Could Be Fired If Their Teams Don't Advance
With club chairmen and owners' trigger fingers itchier than ever, the failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout phase could spell the end to several coaches' jobs.
There's no bigger moneymaker than Europe's top-tier competition, and an early exit—in combination with dodgy domestic form—can be enough for some bosses to reach the end of their tether.
Here's three coaches in potential danger.
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Lille are on a downward slope, and while that's not Rudi Garcia's fault, he doesn't appear to know how to arrest the slump.
After winning the Ligue 1 title in 2010-11, Les Dogues lost key players in Gervinho and Yohan Cabaye for half their worth. In the subsequent campaign, the team finished third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier.
Although he still had Eden Hazard at his disposal, PSG's financial clout and MHSC's superb one-off season meant third was an acceptable placing.
Unfortunately, results this season cannot be excused. Hazard is gone, but Lille should not be 11th in the French league table. Before their weekend win, they'd accumulated seven points from seven games.
Chairmen can sometimes overlook patchy league form if his team is performing well in other competitions (see Roman Abramovich and Chelsea), but losing at home to BATE Borisov and then away to Valencia is not currently found in the "How to Keep Your Job" manual.
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Similar to Lille are last year's Ligue 1 winners Montpellier.
After stunning the world to pip Paris Saint-Germain to the trophy last season, and only losing one key player (Olivier Giroud) this summer, it comes as something of a surprise to see MHSC in 15th place.
Even their outspoken chairman, Louis Nicollin, is publicly piling the pressure on, labelling half his players a**holes and expressing his wish for most to pack their bags (via Goal.com).
Rene Girard may have bought himself some time with an impressive 2-2 draw away to Schalke 04 last week, but if La Paillade's perilous domestic form continues, he'll be in trouble.
A spectacular qualifying run in the UEFA Champions League could well save his bacon, but if Montpellier continue this form both in and outside of France, Girard could be unceremoniously dumped.
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Milan felt sore after losing the Scudetto to Juventus last season and were planning revenge during the summer. Then key players departed, the squad appeared depleted and Massimiliano Allegri received pittance to spend.
To add insult to injury, it was clear that President Silvio Berlusconi still expected a title challenge. After losing two out of the three opening Serie A games, Adriano Galliani was dispatched to aid the team harmony (via Goal.com).
The Rossoneri's 3-2 win in the Petrovsky stadium could not have been more important, but it'll take more than this to change people's minds.
In-form Malaga seem like early favourites to win the group, and the debt-ridden Diavolo desperately need to secure second place.