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Friday, July 6, 2012
Bielsa quits Athletic - reports

ESPN staff

Reports in Spain suggest that Athletic Bilbao manager Marcelo Bielsa has resigned after the club failed to support him over an altercation with construction staff.

Bielsa returned for pre-season training ahead of the 2012-13 season to find the club's Lezama training centre resembling a construction site and was involved in a furious row with construction staff.

"The condition of Lezama is an insult to the players and I am responsible for them," Bielsa explained. "I was indignant because that was not recognised and began to say offensive things. I don't respect him because he did a bad job."

Athletic, though, were quick to issue a statement and distance themselves from the Argentine manager's statement, insisting works had been conducted in a satisfactory manner.

"Athletic Bilbao do not share the personal and subjective opinion expressed by Marcelo Bielsa in [Thursday's] press conference with regards to the construction work, the extent to which the contract has been honoured and the professionalism of the people involved," a club statement read.

"We would like to state that the works contract has been fulfilled correctly up until the current date, so we would like to publicly apologise for any damage that the comments made by an employee of this club may have caused to the construction company and its workers."

Bielsa led Athletic to the Europa League final in his first season at the San Mames in 2011-12, winning plaudits for his side's performances along the way. Now, though, he looks set to depart after just one season at the Basque outfit.

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