French Coach, Patrice Carteron, sent shock waves down Mit Okba, Cairo, last night after resigning from his post as Manager of Zamalek SC.
The Frenchman, who was appointed last December, claimed personal issues and the pressured league schedule to be the main reason for his decision, however, club president Mortada Mansour claims otherwise.
Mansour broadcasted a video speaking to the coach with the board of directors, after receiving his resignation to try and convince him to stay.
“No one interfered with your work, no one ever gave you a hard time after a loss or a draw. The club and fans were behind you and we believed in you throughout your time here and I think this is something you will not get elsewhere,” Mansour explained to Carteron.
The President however does not believe the reasons Carteron sited were true as he explained to him that leaving a club of Zamalek’s stature, a month before possibly winning a third title with the club in less than a year probably means there is a bigger offer on the table from another club.
“I believe there possibly is another offer for you from another club with a greater financial advantage. I am willing to match that offer for the next month and let you go after the CAF African Champions League without a termination clause. You’d be free to coach anyone next month should you decide to finish the campaign with us,” the 68-year-old Club president explained.
Zamalek are in the semi-finals of the CAF African Champions League and are expected to play Raja Casablanca on the 18th of November.
Another effort from Mansour to keep his coach and hold on to the team’s stability was offering to speak to the president of the club he believed Carteron was signing for.
“If they don’t want to let you wait for a month with us, I’d be willing to respectfully call the president of whichever club you got the offer from and ask them to let you stay with us during this critical time,” Mansour said.
Prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Carteron saw Zamalek lift two trophies back-to-back, The CAF Super Cup overcoming Tunisian giants Esperance and the Egyptian Super Cup overcoming his former team, Al Ahly on penalty kicks.
Carteron excused himself for an hour to “think” about what he would do, but came back and stood his ground.
“I have nothing against any of you. I respect all of you and I know how deeply disappointed some of the fans are with my departure. I have made up my mind about my future but I leave you with enough time to find a top calibre replacement to lead the team during the CAF Champions League matches,” Carteron, 50, told Mansour and the board members.
Carteron’s contract with the club had a termination clause worth of two months’ wages (250,000 USD), which he reportedly paid off following the meeting with the Board of Directors. He reportedly left without bidding farewell to the players since he had a flight to catch.
Following these words, Mansour refused to thank the Frenchman on video but expressed his disappointment for the decision taken. He also assured the Zamalek fans that a new coach will be recruited as soon as possible with Director of Football, Amir Mortada flying abroad to interview candidates for the role.
A local-manager is expected to take the temporary role, and word in Mit Okba has it that Tarek Yehia will be the one to lead the team in their upcoming fixtures.