Bournemouth have sacked manager Gary O’Neil, despite the fact that he guided them to Premier League survival last season, and hired Spanish coach Andoni Iraola in his place, the club announced on Monday.
O’Neil took over from Scott Parker on an interim basis in August before being handed the job officially in November.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
He steered Bournemouth to a 15th-placed finish in the league last season, but their form trailed off towards the end of the campaign, ending with four consecutive defeats.
“Gary’s achievement last season is one I will always be grateful for. This has been a difficult decision, but it has been made with great consideration to best position ourselves ahead of the coming season,” Bournemouth owner Bill Foley said.
“Gary will go on to have a long career as a head coach or manager, but we feel that, at this moment in time, a change is in the best interests of this football club. I would like to place on record my thanks to Gary and wish him all the best for the future.”
Hours later on Monday, the club announced the appointment of Iraola, who left his role at Rayo Vallecano after remarkably guiding the club to an 11th-place finish in LaLiga last season.
Foley, an American businessman who took over Bournemouth in December, added that the change in manager would help the club better execute their strategy in the coming months.
“As a club, we have put plans in place for long-term success with improvements being made to infrastructure, most notably the development of a new state-of-the-art training facility and the ongoing discussions around upgrades to our stadium,” Foley said.
“We have also identified a number of significant targets in the transfer market this summer and believe this change in direction will provide us with the best platform from which to build.”