Claude Anelka Fired From AC St. Louis, Financial Situation Stabilized with Money From Jeff Cooper
UPDATED 6:00 AM 6-25-10
IMS learned on Wednesday morning that Jeff Cooper held a meeting with players from AC St. Louis before their 9 hour 560 mile bus trip to the Twin Cities to play the NSC Minnesota Stars in Tuesday’s US Open Cup Tournament. At the meeting Cooper told players that he had freed up personal money and had taken care of the team’s financial situation. They were told that the next payroll and all payrolls through the end of the season would be taken care of.
It was also rumored that Claude Anelka, head coach of the team’ was under review by management and a decision would be made concerning that review this week. IMS contacted Tony Hubert, AC St. Louis spokesperson, this morning who said he had no statement at the time regarding the ongoing situation. IMS also contacted Jeff Cooper who never responded.
Reports from St. Louis said that players were unhappy with Anelka’s training sessions and his game management.
The blog AC Fanatic announced this afternoon that Anelka has been released by the team.
IMS also learned that when Cooper spoke to the team before they left for the US Open Cup game against the NSC Stars, he told them a bonus would be paid to all players if they won the game. AC St. Louis was dominated by the Stars but won 1-0 in the 35th minute. Mike Ambersley hit a full-volley kick from 25 yards out, bulging the right side of the Minnesota net for a goal. The ball was posted high on a corner kick to Ambersley from a St. Louis corner kick making the shot even more impressive.
The LA Galaxy is St. Louis’s next opponent in the third round of the USOC tournament. The game will be played at the Home Depot Center.
Anelka spoke to IMS after Tuesday night’s USOC victory and stated that he had a plan and a tactic to beat Minnesota by playing a counter attack style. “It’s what we do when we have the ball,” said Anelka. “That’s all they say to us (management) is we have to win today and we did. So now I guess we are going to LA.”
Sadly Anelka’s team will be going to LA after the defeat of the Stars but Anelka himself may be on a flight back to France. The irony is that the 42-year old Frenchman’s team is in last place in the in the USSF D2 NASL conference with a 2-7-1 record, but has won their last three games, all on the road.
It’s believed that Jeff Cooper may have been pressured to hire Anelka from the Vaid brothers who are from England and supposedly the cause of AC St. Louis’s financial problems. Cooper was said to have the money to bail the team out when their financial situation loomed large, but couldn’t invest the money as long as the Vaids were still involved. It’s believe that Cooper has somehow eliminated the Vaids from the contract, therefore allowing him to invest his own money and to rid himself of the Anelka contract.
Shortly after this post was made, AC St. Louis released a statement that Claude Anelka had been released from his position and Dale Schilly a St. Louis local was named the new coach. According to Dave Lange at the St. Louis Globe Democrat, Schilly has directed the Metro United soccer club in Edwardsville, and its successor, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Illinois, for the last 15 years.