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Fred Rutten will leave his position at Feyenoord at the end of the current season. The head coach announced this decision to the club management as far back as 12 February. The parties decided to hold off making the news public until after the series of important matches, including the Europa League games against AS Roma. The aim in doing so was to avoid any disruption to the preparations for those matches.
Rutten explains the decision to leave the club after one season as follows: ‘Our ambitions do not differ, but where it concerns the possibilities of making the final step towards the top, my vision on how the high expectations that are prevalent at Feyenoord can be fulfilled does not correspond to the club’s. Obviously I experience this as a disappointment. Because Feyenoord is and remains a fantastic club. But club management, players and staff are entitled to a clear conclusion from my side. There was a reason why we very deliberately chose to join forces for one season.’
Technical director Van Geel said at the end of last year that Feyenoord’s club management wanted to extend Rutten’s stay to a second season. ‘We were and are very satisfied with Fred. The club wanted to keep him on, but we naturally respect him not wanting that. It is in any case good that there is clarity on the future. We now have plenty of time to think about his successor.’
Van Geel and Rutten say that they have no fears that the decision will have a negative impact on the relationship with the squad in the remaining months of the season. Says Van Geel: ‘We have a group that has gone through fire and water with each other the whole season. That really will not change. Players and coaches come in or say they want to leave all the time. Everyone is used to dealing with that in a professional manner.’
‘Furthermore,’ adds Rutten, ‘we have enough to fight for together. This club has to play in Europe next year too. We have to secure that.’
The coach announced his decision to the playing staff on Monday morning alongside technical director Martin van Geel.