October 27 – Ex-Liverpool and England star Robbie Fowler has been sacked from his position as head coach at Saudi second-tier side Al-Qadsiah, despite being unbeaten and having won manager of the month inside of his first eight games in charge.
Al-Qadsiah currently sit second in the league with a good grip on a playoff spot and just one point behind leaders Al-Orobah.
Before bringing Fowler to the club in the summer, the club finished 11th in the division and a huge 23 points off the playoff spots for the Saudi Pro League.
Fowler (pictured) is to be replaced by former Real Madrid and Spain striker Michel.
As the much more experienced option, Michel has previously coached Sevilla, Marseille, Getafe and Olympiacos, leading the Greek side to two domestic titles in his first spell at the club. The second tier of Saudi football is about to welcome its most decorated coach ever.
“The management of Al Qadsiah Sports Club have decided to terminate the contractual relationship with first team football coach, Mr. Robbie Fowler,” a statement read.
“The club appreciates the coach’s efforts and professionalism and wishes him all the success in his professional career.”
Saudi parts company with head women’s coach
The curious sacking coincides with the mutually-consented departure of the Saudi national Women’s team coach Rosa Lappi-Seppala.
Since replacing the current Women’s Football Technical Director, Lappi-Seppälä has led the newly formed women’s team through two draws against Palestine, then to consecutive wins against Andorra. Under her guidance, the women’s national team reached the semi-finals of the Women’s International Friendly Tournament in Taif, Saudi Arabia, a key development competition for the nation that six months ago was not even ranked by FIFA.
Lamia Bahaian, Vice President of SAFF, said: “Everyone at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation family expresses their sincere thanks and appreciation to Rosa for her commitment, efforts, and contributions during her time as head coach. We all wish Rosa the very best in the future.”
Reports say that the SAFF will confirm a new head coach in due course following a recruitment process that is already underway.
Aalia Abdulaziz AlRasheed, Head of the Women’s Football Department at SAFF, added: “Rosa has been a pivotal part of our national team’s recent development. She will always be a part of women’s football history here in Saudi Arabia and we wish her well for the future.”
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at firstname.lastname@example.org