Unhappy Laudrup completes Mallorca exit

Dane fires parting shots at vice president of cash-strapped club

EL PAÍS / R. T. Madrid 27 SEP 2011 - 21:09 CET

Michael Laudrup's tenure as coach of Mallorca was officially termiated on Wednesday after afractiouspress conferenceon Tuesday as the former Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder aimed a parting shot at the club's vice president and director of football, Lorenç Serra Ferrer, who on Monday dismissed Laudrup's assistant, Erik Larsen. That act was the final straw for Laudrup, who it was announced was negotiating his exit from the Balearic team with club president Jaume Cladera, who confirmed the Dane's exit on Wednesday. Laudrup, who will receive half of the value of hiscontract,endedTuesday's press conference with the warning: "Mallorca will be what Serra Ferrer wants it to be."

On Monday, quotes attributed to Larsen, in which he heavily criticized Serra Ferrer, appeared in the Danish press: "He wants to control everything, and he wants to have the final word on everything, at the club. But he does not have the ability to do so, as we have seen. Deep down, he is a bad person; we have seen how he treats everyone at the club. I'll buy you dinner if you can find anyone who could say anything good about him."

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There will be little need for Larsen to reach for his wallet when he next encounters Laudrup. Inhis ownterse appearance in front of the press on Tuesday, the Dane made plain his discontent with Serra Ferrer.

"Why go now that you've won a game and you're in the middle of the table?" Laudrup asked rhetorically. "I had been thinking about this for a while but I could not do it with the team in a worrying situation," he said. "Now I can resign with the side in the middle of the table."

Laudrup, who did not permit questions from the floor, continued: "You want to ask me, 'Why are you quitting if there is only one person who doesn't want you? Stay, and if things go badly they'll fire you and pay you the money for your contract, but I did not come here for the money. I came here for the project: Mallorca was a club in need that had to start from scratch and I looked forward to working with a lot of youth players as well as veterans. Yet again we are here talking about things other than the game we just played. Yesterday one of my assistants was fired. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to find the necessary peace to work here. The team is suffering because of this situation."

Laudrup arrived at Mallorca at the beginning of last season with the club in the hands of administrators. He had enjoyed previous success at Getafe, which the Dane led to the quarterfinals of the Uefa Cup and a King's Cup final, and had previously guided Brondby to a Danish league and cup double.

Under Gregorio Manzano the previous year, Mallorca had finished fifth, qualifying for the Europa League. Uefa, though, stepped in to ban the club from competing in the competition due to its economic problems.

Laudrup oversaw a good start to his first season, guiding Mallorca into the top 10, but results then started to elude the team. Mallorca avoided relegation on the final day of the season only because Deportivo lost at home to Valencia. Had the Galician side managed a tie, Mallorca would have descended to Segunda.

Laudrup's charges had fared little better so far this year, racking up three ties and a loss before recording a first win of the season against Real Sociedad last Sunday.

The team's performances on the field led to friction off it between Laudrup and Serra Ferrer, with the former unhappy with the club's transfer dealings - the team ended the summer with just three forwards - and the latter insistent that financial constraints did not allow for more.

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Michael Laudrup. / REUTERS

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