The Melbourne Victory says it had hoped to strike a deal whereby Ange Postecoglou could have continued as coach in addition to taking the reins of the Socceroos.
Postecoglou’s appointment as Socceroos coach earlier this week has forced the Victory to find a replacement after just three rounds of the A-League season.
The club refused to stand in the way of Postecoglou’s ambition to coach the Socceroos but it did consult Football Federation Australia (FFA) about retaining his services on a temporary basis.
The Socceroos have a light schedule for much of the A-League season and Victory chief executive Ian Robson says the club wanted to still use Postecoglou when not on national duty.
“Two games into the season, there’s a Socceroos friendly confirmed against Costa Rica in a few weeks’ time and then they’ve got a break until March,” he told Grandstand.
“We were trying to explore any possible hybrid scenarios that could possibly see Ange stay with us and go off and do some Australian duties and a whole range of things were explored.
“Simply, it was just the reality of the circumstance that we didn’t have a lot of time to explore, contemplate and reflect on those things.”
Robson confirmed the Victory had spoken to the FFA about the issue of compensation, in light of the fact Postecoglou had not even reached the halfway mark of his three-year contract.
“Compensation was certainly a component of our discussions with the FFA, but it would be wrong to position that was the only thing we discussed,” he said.
Muscat favoured to replace Postecoglou
Postecoglou will take charge of the Victory for the final time when they meet Brisbane Roar at Docklands this evening.
His assistant Kevin Muscat is favoured to take over as Victory coach and the former Socceroo has received a glowing endorsement from Postecoglou.
Robson says Muscat is a “compelling candidate” and the Victory is set to name Postecoglou’s replacement next week.
“We just literally want to draw breath,” he said.
“We’re certainly going to sit down and talk with Kevin tomorrow. In terms of the immediacy of what goes on to prepare for the Wellington game on Monday week and beyond, Kevin’s the senior assistant, he will take care of the program.
“But in terms of a more secure, longer-term outcome we are just going to take a little bit of time to have some conversations amongst the board, ourselves and the football department.
“We hope to make some sort of announcement early next week.”
The Victory will be searching for their first win of the season when they meet the Roar this evening, having opened their campaign with two draws.