Victory part ways with Ernie Merrick

After six seasons at the helm inaugural Melbourne Victory Coach, Ernie Merrick, has come to an agreement with the board of directors to part company with the club.

After six seasons at the helm inaugural Melbourne Victory Coach, Ernie Merrick, has come to an agreement with the board of directors to part company with the club.

The following is a statement from Melbourne Victory Chairman, Anthony Di Pietro;

"The Board of Melbourne Victory today announces that Head Coach, Ernie Merrick and the club have agreed to part ways."

This decision has been reached after an extensive Board review of all parts of the business and it was determined that the best way forward was to part ways and Melbourne Victory undertake a new coaching direction.

Our club sets extremely high standards and we are disappointed with the results of the recent A-League season, along with our start to the AFC Champions League campaign. Our intent is to continue to be the benchmark club in the A-League. We wish to be successful in Asia and believe this decision will assist in taking us to that level.

Melbourne Victory would like to thank and acknowledge the services of Ernie Merrick over the past 6-seasons and we wish him every success in the future.

The club will now embark upon a national and international search for a new Head Coach.

In the interim Youth Team Coach Mehmed Durakovic will assume the role as caretaker Coach through the remainder of the clubs AFC Champions League campaign. He has good relationships within the Football Department and also with the playing group, which should ensure a smooth transition.

I would like to note that we are undergoing some very important changes at our football club. We have new leadership and a clear vision moving forward. This is to:

· Grow our brand domestically and internationally · Drive our revenues to ensure the clubs sustainability · Ensure we are always highly competitive on the field

We believe today-s agreement along with some recent very exciting player signings will assist us in achieving our objectives.”

After a term that yielded two championships as well as two premiers plate-s Ernie Merrick reflected fondly on his time at the helm “I-ve enjoyed plenty of good times at Melbourne Victory and am very proud of the way the club has developed over the last 6 years since its inception.”

“I-ve had the opportunity to work with some fantastic players and staff, and have to thank everyone who has contributed to the club over the years.”

“As I-ve always said, our fans are the best in the country and they are the heart and soul of the club.”

“Unfortunately things change, but my sentiment towards Melbourne Victory is one of enjoyment and satisfaction for what we achieved. Geoff Lord and the founding board did a fantastic job setting up and running the club and I-m sure Anthony Di Pietro will continue to lead it in the right direction.” Merrick added.