Valverde, the first Barcelona coach to be sacked in 17 years

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Valverde, the first Barcelona coach to be sacked in 17 years

The last coach to receive his marching orders was Louis van Gaal in 2003. Van Gaal's Barça were 20 points off the top of the table when Joan Gaspart sacked him.

With the sacking of Ernesto Valverde, Josep Maria Bartomeu breaks a trend at Barça which has lasted 17 years. The last coach to be sacked at Barça was Louis Van Gaal who was handed his papers on 26 January 2003. At the time, Van Gaal's Barça 20 points behind league leaders Real Sociedad, and just three points off the relegation places, sitting 12th in the table and out of the Copa del Rey after being eliminated by Novelda. Valverde, who guided the team to two league titles, leaves with Barça top of table on 40 points.

Radomir Antic took over from Van Gaal and since then, and up until now, every Barça coach has left at the end of their contract. Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola, Martino (brought in as cover for Tito Vilanova) and Luis Enrique. The situation was not as drastic as it was when Van Gaal was ousted, but that's the way things are at Barça with Bartomeu.

Antic signed a five month contract, although it was Antonio de la Cruz who oversaw the first two games in charge. Barça president back then was Joan Gaspart. At least Bartomeu can now say he has his similarities with Gaspart.

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