FCK parts company with coach

Sporting director takes over in bid to bring “the squad closer to the management”

FC Copenhagen has parted company with its Swedish coach Roland Nilsson, barely half a year after appointing him to succeed long-term boss Ståle Solbakken, and replaced him with Carsten V Jensen.

Nilsson and the club’s board disagreed over the future direction of the club. Its chief executive Anders Hørsholt told media that “there was no agreement … on how the team should be continued, and therefore our ways parted”.

Jensen’s responsibilities as the club’s sporting director, a position he has held since 2006, will be merged into the role, and further changes to the management set-up will see the assistant coach Johan Lange take a more prominent role.

“We wanted to bring the management closer to the squad and the squad closer to the management,” the club’s chief executive Anders Hørsholt told media. “CV has almost 20 years experience at FC Copenhagen as a player, coach and sports director, while Johan Lange's knowledge of the club's founding principles and daily processes means we have found the relationship that can best develop FCK.”

Filling the shoes of Norway’s Solbakken was always going to be tough task, and while FCK currently lead the Superliga ahead of the resumption of the season in early March, Nilsson has been a disappointment in Europe, failing miserably to match last season’s qualification for the knockout stage of the Champions League.

This season, FCK didn’t even make it to the CL group stage, and then performed dismally in the group stage of the Europa League, picking up just one win and two draws in six games – a far cry from their 2010-11 CL group stage performance in which they won three games and held Barcelona at home.   

Jensen, 48, has pretty much been connected to the club ever since its foundation in 1992. He played 138 times from 1993 until his retirement in 1998 – he had previously won two championships at Brøndby in 1990 and 1991 – and was the club’s assistant coach until 2006.