PARIS – France’s Lille fired coach Marcelo Bielsa on Friday, three weeks after suspending him over the team’s dismal performance in Ligue 1.
The formal dismissal comes as the club and the maverick Argentine coach remain locked in a dispute over his severance pay, French sports daily L’Equipe reported.
The 15 million euros ($17.64 million) Bielsa is demanding represents a formidable sum for a club whose financial woes led authorities to ban Lille from signing any new players, L’Equipe noted.
A meeting Tuesday between Bielsa and club executives before French soccer’s Judicial Commission ended without a deal.
Bielsa, who said at the start of the season that his goal was for Lille to finish in the top five, was suspended after the team fell into the relegation zone.
Lille, acquired at the end of last season by venture capital tycoon Gerard Lopez, is now 18th in the Ligue 1 table.