Valencia coach Gracia staying after offering resignation

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Newcastle United v Watford
FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Newcastle United v Watford

(Reuters) - Valencia coach Javi Gracia has revealed he offered to resign in protest at the Liga club's failure to sign any players in the close season despite a series of high profile departures but ultimately decided to stay.

"To avoid any rumours circulating I want to make it clear that I have offered my resignation to the owner of the club and the president," Gracia said in a statement to Spanish news agency Efe on Thursday.

"I did this out of professional honesty towards what I think Valencia should represent as a club and the challenges that I believe it should take on each season due to its great history.

"I know more than anyone that the club should be stable and economically viable and that there had to be some departures, but I was promised that we would sign some players and that did not happen."

Valencia, who finished ninth in La Liga last season after finishing in the top four in the two previous campaigns, parted with eight players in the transfer window including captain Dani Parejo and Spain striker Rodrigo Moreno.

Gracia, who became Valencia coach in July after being sacked by Watford last year, has had little option but to field youth team players due to the club's short squad.

His side have taken seven points from their first five games this term, losing their last match 2-0 at home to Real Betis.

"The fact that the team finished ninth in the table last season and began the next campaign with so many important players leaving, without any new arrivals, is an objective sign that the squad has weakened," Gracia added.

"Therefore, the ambitious plans I had when I agreed to coach the club have been affected. I want to make it clear this isn't a complaint about my squad, and I'm very proud and grateful for the support they've shown me.

"After feeling obliged to offer my resignation I'm now going to do what I really want, which is to continue coaching this marvellous team."

Gracia did not say how president Anil Murthy and owner Peter Lim responded to his resignation offer, although a report in newspaper Marca said the coach was told he would have to pay a fee of three million euros ($3.53 million) to be released.

Valencia did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week, Singaporean Murthy said the club did not make any signings due to missing out on 100 million euros in revenue due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

($1 = 0.8510 euros)

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)