La Liga: Athletic Bilbao choose to end Marcelo Bielsa's reign

Marcelo Bielsa: Leaves Athletic Bilbao after two years in charge

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Athletic Bilbao have parted company with coach Marcelo Bielsa after two years in charge.

Athletic president Josu Urrutia announced at a press conference on Friday night they had opted not to offer the 57-year-old former Argentina boss a contract for next season, saying the board had unanimously taken the decision in the "best interests" of the club.

The Basque outfit enjoyed a memorable first season under Bielsa but the recently-completed campaign was hugely disappointing as the club found themselves fighting to avoid the drop.

Athletic, one of only three clubs never to have been out of the top flight, finished the season in 12th spot, nine points above the drop zone.

A statement on the club's website confirmed: "Josu Urrutia has announced the decision of the club not to offer a contract renewal to Marcelo Bielsa to lead the club next season."

Urrutia, in quotes reported by the Spanish media, explained: "We needed to have guaranteed our (Primera Division) safety to make decisions and from there we started to evaluate many issues about the sporting and institutional areas.

"Last night, in our latest board meeting, we decided unanimously not to propose the continuity of Bielsa, because it is best for the interests of Athletic and we've opted for a change."

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