I-league champions Bengaluru FC confirmed today that they have parted ways with manager Ashley Westwood after his contract expired this year. The English manager, who guided BFC to two I-League crowns and a Fed Cup title since joining in 2013, leaves with BFC still in the fray for the AFC Cup.
Last week, Westwood said that it is important for him and the club to get on the same page in terms of their vision for the future of the club. "The contract negotiations are not about the finances. Both me and the club have to get on the same page. In the end, the club must move forward - that's of paramount importance. I'm thankful that we have been successful after I've arrived. I've done my job properly,” he told the Hindu.
His future at the club has been a subject for speculations throughout this season. The 39-year-old became the first head coach of the newly formed Bengaluru FC back in 2013, and since then he had become a fan favorite at the club. This season, his team came back from the dead to beat Mohun Bagan to the I-League title, and they have continued their impressive run of form in the AFC Cup as well. The Blues defeated Kitchee SC 2-3 in the round-of-16 to book a place in the quarters. However, Westwood will not be at the helm of the club when they play in the next round in September.
Parth Jindal, Bengaluru FC CEO, has released the following statement:
“It's been an extremely difficult time for the management of the club to part ways with Ashley Westwood. The decision hasn’t been the easiest to take but like always, it is one made in the best interests of Bengaluru FC. We sat across the table with Ashley and arrived at a consensus together. We would like to thank Ashley for what has been a phenomenal three years with the club. His work ethic and desire to succeed during his tenure has been second to none and the role he has played in putting BFC on the football map will always be a part of the club’s history. He will always be welcome at BFC. We wish him all the best for the future and I am sure he will move on to bigger leagues successfully.”
Ashley Westwood' statement:
“I am extremely proud of my time and achievements during my tenure at BFC. I came to the country with a blank canvas, tasked with helping to build a club from scratch, improve Indian football and to try to produce some players to go on to represent the country. I feel with 3 major trophies, multiple ‘Coach of the Year’ awards and developing as many as 10 players to go on to represent India across different ages, I have achieved all of my objectives. I would like to thank the players, staff and management team for their efforts and support and I also want to thank the most important and fundamental part of this club, the fans, especially the West Block Blues who will always have a very special place in my and my family's heart.
“My time with BFC has been a memorable one and I'll never forget all that we achieved. I'm saddened to leave but I know I have left the club in a very strong position as Champions of India once again and safely through to the quarter finals in the AFC Cup. I wish the club all the best for the future.”
*Statements courtesy Bengaluru FC press release
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