Speaking exclusively to Football News this morning, St Étienne’s assistant manager Ruben Martinez confirmed that he and Head Coach Oscar Garcia will be leaving the Ligue 1 side as soon as a mutual termination agreement has been reached with the club’s board.
Garcia and Martinez arrived this summer to replace long-standing boss Christophe Galtier, who had been at the club for 8 years.
However, from day one Garcia clashed with St Étienne’s Head of Football Operations David Wantier. Garcia submitted a list of around 20 summer targets that he wanted to bring in, from Mariano Diaz (now of Lyon) to Bojan, but was refused on every single one of them. In return, he was offered Wantier-backed players who he did not want but was given no choice but to accept. Loïs Diony was rejected by Garcia more than three times before he eventually gave in when it became clear that he was not going to have a choice.
After the 5-0 thrashing at the hands of bitter rivals Lyon, the entire St Étienne squad was still behind Garcia, but the board was anxious. Oscar Garcia was on the verge of quitting after that fixture but because of a series of difficult conversations that he had been having with the board over recent weeks, including a notably fiery exchange with one of the club’s Co-Presidents Ronald Romeyer following the side’s elimination from the Coupe de la Ligue match against Strasbourg on penalties.
From the board’s side, they are frustrated because they were promised attacking football. Garcia appears to be incensed by the fact that they were given false promises and he and his team have not had any scope to make any off-pitch decisions.
In the face of difficult relationships with key St Étienne board figures, Garcia demanded the appointment of former club legend Jérémie Janot as a middle-man between Garcia and the media, but also Garcia and the board. David Wantier and the board rejected his request, which went out on Monday morning. Garcia spent the weekend in Barcelona to be with those close to him to plan a strategy for the coming weeks.
The rejection of Janot’s return, who is currently the Head Goalkeeping Coach at Auxerre, was seen as the final straw by Garcia, who refused to take training yesterday and today. The playing staff completely understands his conduct in this regard.
Yahoo Sport and Le Progrès report that Dominique Rocheteau, another key St Étienne board member, has been in discussions with ex-boss Christophe Galtier about a possible return.