RBB launch mutiny amid Wanderers crisis
Wanderers bosses have defended themselves after axing Markus Babbel, amid mounting anger from supporters over another drifting season.
Babbel's sacking on Monday leaves Western Sydney looking for their fourth head coach in 28 months, after the German paid the price for a run of one win in 10 games that has left the side languishing near the bottom of the table.
Assistant Jean Paul de Marigny takes over on an interim basis but the club effectively has a blank sheet of candidates.
Chairman Paul Lederer and CEO John Tsatsimas must lead a rapid search for a replacement for Babbel, having appointed him 18 months ago and backed him heavily in terms of recruitment for this season in particular.
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But the club's active fans group, the Red and Black Bloc, hit out at the running of Western Sydney, penning a sarcastic list of excuses for the underperformance and tweeting: "Another season. Same excuses. Our club and members deserve better."
Tsatsimas said the club is open-minded on whether it should seek another overseas appointment or seek a domestic candidate, and insisted they had made enough checks on Babbel's coaching ability before signing him.
Babbel's predecessor, Josep Gombau, was similarly axed.
"He's a very good man, someone who had success in the Bundesliga 2 and experience with three Bundesliga clubs but unfortunately was unable to translate that experience into success here in Australia.," Tsatsimas said.
"One win in 11 games made it impossible for us to continue in a similar vein.
"We'll take those experiences (with Gombau and Babbel) on board, but Markus had a proven record. We thought the club needed a respected name in world football and he had that, both in the playing and coaching fronts.
"We went and saw him, we asked former clubs and players about him. We did due diligence in the right way and he had a good record."
The landscape is sparse for Australian-based candidates, with Kevin Muscat having taken a role in Belgium. Though Socceroos boss Graham Arnold has spoken privately of missing day to day involvement in club coaching, he has taken the Olyroos to the brink of qualifying for an Olympics for the first time in 12 years, and will coach the senior team at the Copa America in June. Others such as Harry Kewell remain hugely inexperienced.
For now de Marigny will take the reins, though he has led the coaching sessions for much of the season and has had to deny accusations of disloyalty to Babbel.
"As far as I'm concerned that was a personal attack that was uncalled for," he said. "My relationship (with Babbel) is excellent and will continue to be. I've got nothing to answer in regards to that as it's outside my character and always will be.
"It's all about looking forward. It's an opportunity to work with a good group of players, an opportunity to take this club to where it belongs, and bring back the identity, going back to basics."
Tsatsimas acknowledged the anger among the fans, adding: "The fans are the best in the league, they're passionate and believe in the club. It's when people don't care that you know the club is in a bad way.
"The A-League team needs some improvement but it's a very strong squad - and every other element of the club is in a good way."