FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirmed that Ronald Koeman will stay as the head coach for a second season at Camp Nou. There was speculation around the future of Ronald Koeman at Barcelona after a poor end to the last campaign. Barcelona failed to keep up with the title race until the final day. Newly elected president Joan Laporta confirmed that Koeman will be staying at the club after holding positive talks with the Dutchman.
“I’d like to announce that, after a period of reflection, we have decided to continue with Koeman. We are very satisfied with how everything went during this period. We had some very direct conversations. Koeman’s behaviour was impeccable. He showed that he is a great professional.”
It was also reported that Barcelona is continuing with Koeman due to the big severance package he will command after his departure. The Dutchman would have reportedly pocketed a package worth £13 million if Barcelona had pulled the trigger. Koeman has now reportedly agreed to take a pay cut on his hefty £10m salary since the club is struggling financially.
According to some reports, his position was never in jeopardy as Barcelona was in advance talks to sign Dutch duo Memphis Depay and Gini Wijnaldum. Koeman wanted to sign them last summer, but the club’s poor finances didn’t allow them to complete both transfers.
Koeman initially signed on a two-year deal which will keep him at the club till the summer of 2022. He arrived at the club at such a time when Barcelona was a mess. The previous administration’s (under Ex-President Bortemou) mismanagement left the club with $1.3 billion in debt. Club captain Lionel Messi publicly admitted that he wants to leave.
Koeman stabilized a sinking ship by earning the trust of the dressing room and getting players on board with his ideas. Even though the team was knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16, Koeman did bring in young players that will eventually help Barcelona to win the European title in the future.