MONTE CARLO – Leonardo Jardim returned for a second spell as Monaco coach on Friday, just over three months after he was sacked, the struggling French Ligue 1 club announced.
Jardim replaces Thierry Henry, who was suspended on Thursday and then sacked on Friday, with the team second-from-bottom in the French top division with just 15 points.
Portuguese coach Jardim, 41, has signed a deal until June 2021, and will take charge of the team for Tuesday’s League Cup clash against Guingamp.
Monaco chief executive Vadim Vasilyev said that it had been a mistake to sack Jardim after 2-1 home defeat to Rennes on October 7 last year.
His departure, however, would have been comfortably cushioned by a reported €8.5 million payoff.
“Today we realise that the story of Leonardo Jardim at the club did not end as it was meant to. Leonardo should have been given an opportunity to continue his job,” admitted Vasilyev.
Jardim joined Monaco in 2014 and took them to a first Ligue 1 title in 17 years in 2017. They also made the Champions League semi-finals.
“Our club is going through a very challenging period. I am ready to admit that I personally bear the responsibility for this,” added Vasilyev.
“We have to acknowledge that during the summer transfer window, we sold too many key players and, despite considerable investments, mistakes were made with respect to their replacement.
“This did not allow us to create a new, competitive team. The decision to dismiss Leonardo Jardim was also premature.”
Former Arsenal and France striker Henry earned the Principality club just two league wins since his arrival in October.
However, his departure will not come cheap.
He was reported to be earning an estimated €3.2 million a year. With two-and-a-half years still left on his contract, Monaco’s owners face having to pay out another €8 million as compensation.
“Thierry Henry is a football legend, but due to a very unfavourable mix of circumstances, including, above all, numerous injuries to our players, hampered him from quickly and effectively leading the team out of the crisis,” said Vasilyev.
Franck Passi will be in charge of the team for the weekend clash against Dijon.AFP