Relegation from Ligue 1 has prompted Nantes head coach Elie Baup to give up the reins at the Stade de la Beaujoire after less than a year in charge of the north western outfit.
A statement on the club’s official website reads, “FC Nantes and Monsieur Elie Baup decided not to continue their collaboration at the end of the 2008-2009 season. This is the first relegation that the most experienced coach in Ligue 1 has suffered. At the end of the 38th and last day of Ligue 1, Saturday May 30, Baup stated that he was ready to leave the club without consulting the board, despite the fact he had over a year to run on his contract.”
Baup was initially signed by Nantes in August 2008 after Michel Der Zakarian made a disappointing start to the season as head coach. Without the benefit of a transfer window with which to mould his team, Baup was forced to make do with what he had inherited. Organisation and defensive stability were high on the agenda and as winter reached its peak it seemed that Baup had les Canaris on the right track.
But a horrible sequence of results from February onwards saw Nantes sucked deeper into relegation trouble and ultimately relegated on the final day, despite a 2-1 success over Auxerre.
Baup had previously enjoyed a strong spell with Toulouse, whom he carried to the Champions League with a third-placed finish in 2006-07. However, that proved his high point in the Pink City, with a hard-fought relegation battle following the year after.
The 54-year-old joins a lengthy list of coaching casualties in Ligue 1, with nearly half the league expected to experience managerial alterations over the summer.
Robin Bairner, Goal.com