Rennes coach Stephan steps down after dismal run


Rennes (France) (AFP) – Julien Stephan, who guided Rennes to Champions League qualification for the first time in their history, has resigned following a poor run of results, the Ligue 1 club announced Monday.

“This morning, Stade Rennais FC acknowledged the resignation of coach Julien Stephan. The club thanks Julien for these nine years with the Red and Black and for all the exceptional results he earned in charge of the team,” Rennes said in a statement.

Philippe Bizeul, an assistant to Stephan, will take charge of the first team on a temporary basis, the club added.

The 40-year-old Stephan, whose father Guy is assistant to France coach Didier Deschamps, was appointed by Rennes in December 2018 following spells with the club’s reserve and youth teams.

He won the French Cup later that season, lifting the club’s first trophy since 1971, and then steered Rennes to a third-place finish last year, earning a place in the Champions League group stage.

However, the team collected just one point in Europe this season and have slipped to ninth place in Ligue 1 following a six-match winless run.

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