Valencia players refuse to attend pre-Chelsea press conference ‘to protest Marcelino sacking’

Valencia players refuse to attend pre-Chelsea press conference ‘to protest Marcelino sacking’
Football

Valencia players boycotted the club’s press conference ahead of their Champions League opener against Chelsea after the sacking of popular manager Marcelino.

On Monday, new Valencia boss Albert Celades was forced to face the press alone after his stars refused to attend to their pre-match media duties.

Marcelino was hugely popular with Valencia fans

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Marcelino was hugely popular with Valencia fans

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Marcelino was relieved of his duties last week, despite winning the Copa del Rey and securing Champions League football last season.

He was Valencia’s most successful manager since Rafa Benitez, who guided Los Che to two LaLiga titles in 2002 and 2004.

And the decision to end Marcelino’s two-year spell at the Mestalla has not gone down well with fans.



His replacement, Celades, a former assistant at Real Madrid, suffered a 5-2 defeat to Barcelona in his first match in charge on Saturday.

And the Spaniard has played down the alleged unrest within his squad ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Celades had to face the press alone as his players boycotted media duties

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Celades had to face the press alone as his players boycotted media duties

He said: “Obviously it’s not an ideal situation but it’s the players’ decision, really. I don’t have much more to say about that. There isn’t anything I can do about it.

“I speak to the players every day. They took this decision but there is always dialogue. The reaction I’ve had has been very good and I’m sure it will continue to improve.

“The spirit is very good. (Tuesday) is the start of the best club competition in Europe and that is ample motivation for the players to give their best.

“They want to play, taste the atmosphere. and be in the starting XI. No one wants to miss out and that, for me, is the most important thing.”

According to Las Provincias newspaper, the Valencia players have been told they, rather than the club, must pay the fines for failing to fulfil media duties.