Why Quique Setien May Get Sacked Despite Support From Bartomue?
In a recent interview with SPORT, FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has clarified his and his board’s stance on manager Quique Setien’s role at the club for the immediate future.
In the interview, he emphasized that he had never thought about sacking the Cantabrian coach and implied that the manager should be given adequate time before judging his performances.
The comments from the club President came after the team faced turbulent performances towards the end of this season’s La Liga. This interview pretty much cleared the speculations about Setien’s immediate future at the club.
However, football fans know that sport is a volatile business, and anything can happen when the events in the future start unfolding. Still, Bartomeu’s interview gives fan reflection on how the club hierarchy is reflecting upon the current situation.
Bartomeu’s Sport Interview
When asked if Setien’s future depends on the Champions League, he said:
He's under contract. When we brought him in, we explained that it was a project for this season and the next one. To judge a coach for a few months, in the middle of a pandemic, is very complicated.
He had a similar response when he was questioned whether Setien was ever under risk of losing his job during the final few games of the league campaign.
“No, not at any moment. I know there were reports which came out and said if he didn’t win the next two matches, we’d replace him with ‘Pimi’ (Garcia Pimienta), but we never spoke about that. Not with Abidal, Planes, or the board of directors. Setien is our head coach.” Bartomeu clarified.
Bartomeu was also pressed about the recent reports suggesting that Barcelona were considering bringing in Laurent Blanc as a temporary coach for the next season. To that query, he denied speaking to Blanc or anybody else except Xavi.
We haven't spoken to anybody. Not Blanc or anyone else. I've spoken to Xavi because we have a good relationship but he recently signed a new deal at his current club.
Why Setien’s Long-term Future Still In Doubts Despite Bartomue’s Support?
Despite comments from Bartomeu that reinforced Setien’s managership, this in no way means that Setien has his future safeguarded past the time when Bartomeu and his supportive board members lose direct influence at the club.
Come the summer of 2021, presidential elections will be held, and a new President will be elected to lead the club from then on.
Then, the new President might not support Setien or the work he is doing at the club. The new leader would definitely try to sack the manager and revamp the team if the team shows the current level of mediocre performances even then.
In addition to this, the new presidential candidates may also have their own preferences when it comes to their managers. This outlook also suggests that Setien might not be able to complete his contract, which runs through to the summer of 2022 and could be fired halfway through.
Quique Setien’s job might be in danger despite Bartomeu’s support after 2021 presidential elections (Photo by Xavier B. / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)
Similarly, another presidential candidate Victor Font also has his choice already set.
Setien now has the task of leading the team in the Champions League. He can hope to have a good tournament and possibly win the title. That would make a good case for his future at the club past the elections.
However, even a champion League triumph might not secure his long-term future considering his lack of proven track record at elite clubs, and the possible choices of the next presidential candidates.