Wilfried Nancy leaves CF Montreal to manage the Crew

Wilfried Nancy leaves CF Montreal to manage the Crew

Goodbye Wilfried Nancy. The CF Montreal head coach has finally jumped ship to hit it off with the Columbus Crew.


All our information pointed in this direction for a few days. the Columbus Shipping confirmed the matter Monday, citing a league source. The Crew posted a short video on their social media, announcing “new beginnings,” and it features the recognizable figure of Wilfried Nancy.

A press conference with Crew HQ has already been announced for 10am Tuesday morning.

Thus, Nancy’s months of deafening silence about her future with the team were a harbinger of her departure. At the bottom of the problem, a matter that goes beyond the simple discrepancy between owner Joey Saputo and the trainer.

It is that during the year the bond of trust between the CFM and Nancy was broken.

Under Ron Waxman’s wing, the coach became more ambitious, and not just athletically. Economically too. Even before the altercation with the owner at the Stade Saputo on July 9, there was friction between the club and the Nancy clan.

Waxman even went so far as to discuss Nancy with other teams while the coach was still under contract with Montreal – his option for 2023 was activated in recent months. This amounts to trespassing, a serious charge in MLS. The league would have even stuck its nose into the story at one point. A suspension for Nancy was not out of the spectrum of possibilities.

The events of July 9 with Saputo weighed in the balance, yes. At that point, Nancy wanted to leave immediately. But Gabriel Gervais and Olivier Renard summoned the team leaders, and the latter managed to convince Nancy to finish the season.

But even if the head coach had turned around and wanted to go back to work long-term, the club would have told him no, we’re told. The bridges had been broken. Which is why, in the end, Montreal gave Columbus the right to speak to Nancy.

Let us remember that on October 25, the day of the CFM balance, a rumor transmitted by informant Tom Bogert came to light. The MLS-affiliated reporter indicated that Columbus was interested in Nancy’s services.

“I hope it’s wrong,” Renard had said a few hours later. Because there will be big problems. Our trainer is under contract. No club in the world can contact our coach, let alone another MLS club. »

The Saputo-Nancy altercation

The story has been told many times. On July 9, after a loss to Sporting Kansas City, the worst team in the league, Joey Saputo stormed backstage at Saputo Stadium, accosted its president Gabriel Gervais in front of the press room, and loudly let him know his health. about the head coach of him. “Your coach doesn’t respect me!” », Says Saputo to Gervais, in front of his representative from Press.

Obviously, a scene took place between the two men sometime between leaving the field and this very moment, which took place just minutes after the final whistle.

A week after the altercation with Saputo, at a press conference for the next game, the coach, still in charge, told him about it.

“I’ve been at the club for a long time,” he said. I saw many things. Each leader manages his company as he wants. I do not have any problem with that. On the other hand, I have values ​​from which I will never deviate. »

Why go?

At that point, the club started winning again and delivering results at a breakneck pace. Galvanized, rose to 2me classified in the Eastern Conference, 2 points from the first position. The season was beautiful, the most beautiful in its history. And the transfer of Djordje Mihailovic, who has repeatedly praised the human and sporting quality of his coach, is another feat of arms that demonstrates the special contribution that Nancy has made to the organization.

Organization that wants to continue developing young players so that they take the same trajectory as Mihailovic towards Europe. That Ismaël Koné, who has just been transferred to the English second division. Or even Alistair Johnston, who joined Celtic from Glasgow two days ago.

Wilfried Nancy even came close to being named the best head coach in MLS.

Was Nancy’s only motivator really money? The Montreal Impact has not known only glorious moments in terms of personnel management in its history. The example of the dismissal of Mauro Biello and his entire team – including Nancy’s good friend, Jason Di Tullio – in 2017 comes first.

After more than a decade with Impact, the July 9 event was perhaps the last straw for Nancy. The latter at least used it to assert her point of view fiercely.

From that moment on, and despite the season ending in Montreal, Nancy did not want to talk about her contract. Neither publicly nor in negotiations. Renard confirmed on balance sheet that his option had kicked in for 2023. This remains a good thing for the club, which has negotiated compensation with the Crew. We don’t know the content yet. It was one of the last things left to negotiate before making the announcement.

What’s more, on the side of CF Montreal, it is assured that the owner Joey Saputo never intervened so that Nancy was fired or that her contract was not renewed.


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