Aris’s coach leaves after four months

The recently hired French coach of Aris soccer club, Henri Michel, resigned from his post yesterday, less than four months after his arrival, to assume a new post with Tunisia’s national team. Though the reasons behind the Frenchman’s decision were not announced, it is understood that Michel was disgruntled with the club’s administration. The French coach said that his efforts in Aris had been undermined by a top-ranking club official, whom he did not name. But sources said Michel’s remarks probably alluded to the team’s managing director, Akis Andrias. There was somebody in the club who waged a war against me from the very first moment, Michel said. No details regarding Michel’s new deal have been announced, but sources did say it would last until 2004, the year when Tunisia will host the African Nations Cup. The Frenchman had signed a two-year contract with Aris worth about $600,000 per year as part of an overall restructuring plan to rebuild the Thessaloniki club into a formidable side after several disappointing seasons. Not long after Michel’s acquisition last summer, the Thessaloniki club was taken over by a Greek-American entrepreneur, Yiannis Zahoudanis, who, since migrating to the USA in the 1950s, has visited Greece on few occasions. In his talks with the club president, sources claimed, Michel told the LA-based Zahoudanis that running the club was not possible from a distance. Romanian Anhel Iordanescu, who had served a short spell as coach of Greece’s national team, is now being touted as a replacement.

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