Lazio have officially sacked Vladimir Petkovic due to “just cause” because of his Swiss contract and hired Edy Reja.
The club had been trying to get rid of their tactician since before Christmas, when Petkovic announced he had already signed with the Swiss Federation to take over the national team in July 2014.
The Biancocelesti tried to sue him for breach of contract and ‘deception,’ as he had previously denied negotiations for the Switzerland job, but his deal with Lazio was due to expire in June 2014 anyway.
Over the last two days, the club’s lawyers have been locked in negotiations with Petkovic to agree termination by mutual consent.
They failed to reach an agreement, so this afternoon the club formally sacked Petkovic for “just cause” as the “incidents determined the breach of trust, which is an essential element in the work rapport.”
Time was of the essence, as until Petkovic had been removed from his position in one way or another, the club could not register Reja as their new Coach.
He has been in charge of training since December 30 and had to be registered by midday on Sunday or he couldn’t sit on the bench for their Serie A match against Inter on Monday evening.
The matter might still not be over, as Petkovic could counter-sue and argue he did not breach his contract, something he has already stated.
“Petkovic took the news of legal action with surprise and disappointment,” read a statement from his lawyer Paco D’Onofrio on January 1.
“Straight after signing the contract on December 23 2013, it was his moral decision – as no actual sporting or civil law requires it – to inform President Claudio Lotito before the news became public. In so doing, he reaffirmed his obvious firm intention of continuing the project with Lazio until the end of the season, as is always the case for players and Coaches who are towards the end of their contracts.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.