Rotterdam, May 18 (IANS) Feyenoord fired Fred Rutten with immediate effect after the coach failed to lead his team to a direct ticket for the preliminary round of the Europa League, the Dutch football club has announced.
Assistant Giovanni van Bronckhorst takes over as head coach of Feyenoord for the forthcoming play-offs, reports Xinhua.
The 40-year-old Van Bronckhorst was already appointed as successor of Rutten for next season. He reached an agreement on a two-year contract in March this year.
Rutten succeeded Ronald Koeman, who left for Southampton, last year. He had previously coached FC Twente, PSV, German side Schalke 04 and Vitesse.
With the 52-year-old Rutten, Feyenoord lost 0-3 to PEC Zwolle in the final round of the Dutch league on Sunday and dropped from the third to the fourth spot.
The Rotterdam-based team seemed certain of the third place one month ago, but collected only two points from the last five matches. After the defeat the club board arranged a meeting on Sunday with Rutten to discuss his situation.
Following the failure to hold on to the third place, which was taken by AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord now has to grab a European ticket through the Dutch league play-offs for one spot in the preliminary round of the Europa League.
SC Heerenveen is the first opponent in these play-offs next Thursday (away) and on Sunday (home). Feyenoord could meet Vitesse or PEC Zwolle in a possible final.