Former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson parted company with Shanghai SIPG, the Chinese club said Friday, despite taking them to a third-place finish in this year’s Chinese Super League (CSL), and was later replaced by former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas as their new coach on Friday.
SIPG believe Villas-Boas “can further enrich the team’s tactics”, motivate players and “lead the team to march towards higher goals,” the club said in a statement.
The decision was taken following “friendly discussions” with Eriksson, the club said on a verified social media account, thanking the Swede for his “great contribution to the team in the past two years”.
“We sincerely hope everything goes well for Mr. Eriksson’s future work and life,” it added.
SIPG were runners-up in the CSL in Eriksson’s first year at the club, giving them a place in this season’s AFC Champions League, where they reached the quarter-finals.
Chinese media had speculated that Villas-Boas was lined up as Eriksson’s successor. The club held a press conference on Friday where the news was confirmed.
SIPG have been among China’s big spenders as money pours into the Chinese game. This year they captured Brazilian forward Hulk for a reported €55 million (HK$473.3m).
Eriksson coached England from 2001-2006 and went on to lead Manchester City and Leicester City. One of several high-profile foreign names to secure lucrative contracts in China, his first job in the country was at Guangzhou RF in 2013.