Morocco World News
Morocco World News
New York, August 16, 2012
Based on his reported monthly salary of 250, 000 Euros, Eric Gerets, Morocco’s national team coach, is the most highly paid national team coach in the world.
The last straw in the series of disappointment brought about by the Belgian coach is the unexpected defeat of the so-called Atlas Lions against Guinea in Rabat on Wednesday. Whereas Moroccan fans were expecting their national team to gratify them with victory and a good performance on the pitch, they were stunned to witness their team collapse once again against a team that Morocco used to subdue easily in the past.
In light of the time he spent at the helm of the Moroccan team since the fall of 2010 and the favorable conditions that were offered to him to prepare a competitive national team, one can easily come to the conclusion that Eric Gerets is the worst national team in Morocco’s recent history. He has done far worse than Roger Lemerre, who was dismissed just a few months after the defeat of the national team against Gabon in March 2008, and all the coaches who preceded him.
Since he took over as the coach of the national team A, the “Atlas Lions” played 18 games; they lost seven games (Algeria, Senegal, Guinea, Gabon, Tunisia, Ouganda, Cameroun), won 6 games (Niger twice, Algeria, Tanzania twice, and Senegal) and draw in five games (Northern Island, Central Africa twice, Gambia, Ivory Coast).
In return for his fat salary, the Belgian coach, heralded as the savior of Morocco’s football, rewarded Moroccan fans with a shameful and demeaning elimination from the 2012 African Cup of Nations.
His undeserved and exorbitant salary caused much disgruntlement among Moroccans, most of whom called on the Moroccan Federation of Football to sack him.
To the dismay of Moroccan fans, their calls fell on deaf ears since the “highly competent” Moroccan Federation, which seems to be infatuated with Gerets, has renewed in more than one occasion its confidence in the Belgian coach.
In mid-February, the French TV channel France 24 revealed that Gerets earns $300,000 a month, a salary equivalent to nine of the coaches combined of other national teams participating in the African Cup.
The arguments put forth by those who brought this highly controversial coach was that he has a good record at the club level and a “proven international status.”
When one examines his resume, however, he will see that Mr. Gerets has barely won a few titles with PSV Eindhoven, Galatasaray of Turkey, FC Bruges, Lierse SK of Belguim and Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia. In light of this track-record, one can inevitably come to the conclusion that the people in charge of the destiny of Moroccan football are either blind to the reality of Morocco’s football needs, or they are living in another planet. Oh maybe, because of the French complex of these officials, the fact that he was the vice-champion of French team (Olympique of Marseille) in 2008-2009, is enough to conclude that he has an international renown.
Many Moroccans correctly point out that since officials are willing to pay a high salary to a foreign coach, why not recruit or consider someone truly successful, such as Marcello Lippi who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 after winning a number of titles with Juventus and other Italian teams.
Perhaps Mr. Vicente del Bosque who won the European Cup of Nations in 2012, the World Cup with the Spanish National team in 2010, after winning three Champions League titles with Real Madrid in 1998, 2000 and 2002. Why not consider Dutch coach Gus Hiddink, or Carlos Alberto Perrera, who won the 1994 World Cup with Brazil. One can safely say that these coaches have an international status, and that they would deserve the fat salary being earned by Eric Gerets.
It is worth pointing out that, while a coach who bears the biggest responsibility in the elimination of Morocco from the first round of the African Cup of Nations earns 3 million Euros, Vicente del Bosque, who made all Spaniards proud when he brought them the Euro 2012 and the World Cup in 2010, earns an annual salary of 1,5 million euros.
Morocco’s GDP stood in 2010 at 92 billion dollars, whereas Spain’s GDP was 1,4 trillion dollars.