Ligue 1 news

Montpellier president 'won't cry' for Girard

February 19, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has vowed he will not shed a tear if Ligue 1-winning coach Rene Girard decides to leave the club come the season's end.

Rene Girard
PA PhotosRene Girard is reportedly the new man at the Lille helm

Girard, 58, is out of contract in June and revealed over the weekend he has already made his mind up about his future, though refused to divulge further details.

Nicollin told L'Equipe he was not aware of the decision either, and while talks between the pair over the matter remain scheduled for next month, the outspoken multi-millionaire added he is far from worried about the situation.

"I don't know anything about it. If he wants to go, he'll go. Anyway, he's out of contract," Nicollin said. "He's part of the furniture, but if he wants to leave, he'll leave. I'm not going to cry about it."

With regards to replacing Girard, Nicollin added: "There are a lot of coaches out there... You should know Montpellier is never caught napping."

Since appointing Girard upon promotion from the second tier in 2009, Nicollin has seen the former France Under-21 boss establish Montpellier as a top-flight force, guiding them to a maiden Ligue 1 title last season.

That unexpected success brought Champions League football to the Stade de la Mosson, but the team failed to win a single group-stage game, finishing bottom of a section featuring Schalke, Arsenal and Olympiakos. The failure left a bitter taste, Nicollin said.

"I still haven't been able to reconcile myself with how, with the squad we had, we put in such a poor performance in the Champions League. I'm really furious. It has really stuck in my throat. I'm not happy with this season, but he did win the league - that must not be forgotten. That wouldn't be right."