Spaniard to lead Victory after coach’s shock axing
Melbourne Victory has sensationally sacked coach Marco Kurz after just 13 games in charge.
Kurz was sacked on Tuesday night, with Victory's second assistant, Spaniard Carlo Salvachua expected to take over until the end of the season.
Victory has had an inconsistent start to the season and pressure was building on Kurz.
However Sunday's dramatic 3-2 loss to Central Coast, where Victory conceded two stoppage time penalties, was the tipping point.
Kurz was red carded during the chaotic scenes where Victory players fumed.
Assistant coach Filip Tapalovic, who joined Kurz from Adelaide, will also depart.
Kurz's sacking will trigger a mid-season overhaul, with Austrian attacker Kristijan Dobras also departing, making way for ex-winger Marco Rojas, who will endear himself to the Victory faithful after last week rejecting an offer from Melbourne City.
Back up full back Corey Brown will also depart.
Victory will hold a press conference this afternoon to confirm the news, revealed by the Herald Sun on Wednesday morning.
Salvachua joined the club in 2018 after he was headhunted by then coach Kevin Muscat.
Muscat will not be a contender for the role after landing a European gig with Belgian club Sint-Truiden.
Muscat, who departed at the end of last season, was prevented from officially taking the head coaching role as UEFA - European football's governing body - does not recognise Asian Football Confederation coaching licenses.
Former Adelaide United coach Kurz was appointed as Muscat's successor in June last year.
The board made the call at a scheduled board meeting on Monday, before delivering the news that evening.
Kurz was distraught at the decision and felt that he could still turn things around this season, with Victory sitting in sixth position and key players Tim Hoogland and captain Ola Toivonen close to returning.
Victory also plays its Asian Champions League qualifier on Tuesday at home to Bali United. The winner travels to Japan to face Kashima Antlers on January 28 after the J1 League side won the 2020 Emperor's Cup.
The German was appointed after spending two years at Adelaide United, following an extensive process by Victory's coaching selection panel.
Kurz, who won an FFA Cup with Adelaide United, was only the second foreigner appointed by Victory, after Northern Irishman Jim Magilton took charge of the last three months of the 2011-12 season.
"It's an honour to be named as head coach of Melbourne Victory, a big club with a strong history, passionate fanbase and true drive for success," Kurz said after signing a two-year deal.
"I've got to know Melbourne Victory from afar, and had tremendous respect for them during that time, so it is exciting to join the club.
"During the interview process we had aligned beliefs about the direction forward which was very important. I can't wait to join the team and get underway."