BRADENTON, Fla. – After Ron Jans resigned as head coach on Tuesday morning, FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding and GM Gerard Nijkamp spoke with the media later that afternoon during a press conference and conference call.
Here are some of the talking points from both…
The MLS investigation highlighted there was no single incident
“The findings concluded that this was not a single incident, but included broader themes and experiences that were insensitive and inappropriate,” Berding said. “Upon seeing this overview, I reviewed the findings with our general manager, Gerard Nijkamp. After hearing these initial conclusions, we knew there was no future for Ron and our club, and he could not remain FC Cincinnati’s head coach.”
Berding on FCC players sharing their concerns with investigators:
“We thank them for bringing forward their experiences,” Berding said. “We place the upmost importance on a strong culture beginning in the locker room. Clearly, there were unacceptable things occurring and people were understandably very troubled by them.
“They brought them forward so that we could address them and we have addressed them quickly. So, I am grateful that they felt free to do so here and that there were very open to the joint investigation and they spoke their truths.”
The club president didn’t specify how many people issued complaints and didn’t provide any details to the grievances, several times referring to confidentiality agreements in place that allowed the players to speak and relay their experiences freely.
Nijkamp’s commented on his second head coach search:
“I think I can repeat my words from last summer,” he said. “It’s not about to rush and to find a quick replacement for Ron, but to go very professional through the process to get the profile on the table. The profile is even more important now than it was in the past on the pitch, but also off the pitch. So, one more time, not rush.”
In Tuesday morning’s press release, the club said the search to find the next head coach would be an international one – similar to the previous search. But Nijkamp said he won’t just look for someone with good tactical vision, but for a coach who has the right character and mentality.
He also said there will be a cultural assessment.
“It is not only when you work abroad, then you understand another culture,” he added. “It’s more than that. I think we also need help in that process to make the good decision because, I don’t have to say to this audience, that the next head coach of FC Cincinnati must really, really become a success.”
Damet becomes interim head coach for a second time in as many seasons
In May 2018, then assistant coach Yoann Damet became FCC’s interim head coach until Ron Jans was hired in August. With Jans removed from his position, Damet will once again become the club’s interim head coach until Berding and Nijkamp hire a full-time head coach.
“Yoann is our interim head coach, but he’s not doing it alone,” Nijkamp said. “He’s doing it with his team, his coaching staff and his technical staff, but also with me. We get all the confidence from our side to try to get the team prepared and hopefully also ready for the first away game in New York.
“I don’t want to point too much only on Yoann because this is a bigger task than only winning a match in the future,” Nijkamp said.
Cincinnati’s 2020 season starts March 1 at the New York Red Bulls. The club’s final preseason match is this Friday against Icelandic side KR Reykjavík.