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31 Jul
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Posted by isport at 16:58

It was only in February 2013 that the Swans enjoyed the greatest day in their history after they won the Capital One Cup at the Wembley. Former Denmark international, Michael Laudrup was the hero who had taken the South Wales club to achieve this feat.

After a poor run of form left the Swans two points above the premier league relegation zone, the club’s management decided to axe the former Barcelona and Denmark star in February 2014 saying the atmosphere around the club has become toxic, but Michael Laudrup has stressed his departure has nothing to do with any misconduct.

Danish newspaper Politiken claims it has seen documents suggesting Laudrup’s agent, Baryam Tutumlu could have made profits of over £3 million during the Dane’s reign. It claims Swansea accused the two of trying to “benefit from transactions at the expense of the club.”

However, club chairman, Huw Jenkins denied the report, said he sacked Laudrup for “football reasons,” and that the club did not suspect the former Barca and Real Madrid player. Meanwhile Laudrup claiming innocence said “I have never received any payment or commission related to any player transfer in any of the clubs I have coached. Never.”

According to the Politiken article, the documents show Jenkins signed an agreement which would give Tutumlu 7.5% of the net profit from all player sales when Laudrup extended his contract in 2013. The Swans cut ties with the Turkish-born Spanish citizen (Tutumlu) in June 2013 following concerns he was trying to dictate transfer policy, and was said to have received secret commissions in at least seven deals as reported by the documents.

Despite attempts to contact Tutumlu directly to discuss the allegations, he has yet to respond to the report, but Jenkins says that particular clause never came to effect.

It isn't the only time that Laudrup's managerial stint has turned sour - in 2008 Laudrup was appointed head coach of Spartak Moscow, replacing Stanislav Cherchesov who was sacked after an embarrassing defeat to archrivals Dinamo Kyiv in the Champions League qualification, when they had been firm favourites - to the point that they were odds-on at to win the tie. It was an embarassing defeat.

The former Barca and Real Madrid star immediately established a good relationship with Spartak sports director, Valery Karpin, as both spent the majority of their career in Spain. In fact it was this Spanish connection that secured Laudrup the job.

Before this move, Laudrup had made a name for himself as coach at first his Danish childhood club, Brondby IF, where he won one league title and two cup titles during his four years. He had worked as assistant coach of the Danish national team before joining Brondby. He left Denmark to take charge at Spanish side, Getafe for a season before being forced to resign, despite leading them to the cup final and UEFA Cup quarter final.

With the Russian League in its decisive phase and the Reds-whites placed third, Laudrup set his goal of maintaining their stay at the top, and thus, qualify them for the Champions League. Unfurtunately for Laudrup and Spartak, the club never came close to their dreams as they fail to advance to the UEFA Cup group stage after losing to NEC Nijmegen at home and away against Tottenham in the last game.

The results in the league weren’t much better, winning just three of their last ten games, and finished the season in eighth place, their worst finish in four years. One of the few highlights of his reign at the Reds-Whites was a 1-0 derby win away to CSKA, while they also managed to qualify for the quarterfinals in the Russian cup the following year.

The new season soon began and Spartak got off to a good start with a 1-1 home draw against Zenit in the opening fixture. However, three games later, Laudrup was sacked after managing just one victory in the following three games and losing at home in the cup to Dinamo Moscow after just seven months on the job.

After leaving Moscow, Laudrup blamed his failure to language barrier and the lack of understanding of ‘Russian mentality and football culture’.

It will be interesting to see where he pitches up next.