Stade Rennais FC announced that coach Julien Stéphan has resigned from the top job at the Brittany club, leaving a wonderful legacy of despite the run of just one win in 2021 that prompted his move. He will be replaced in the interim by assistant coach Philippe Bizeul.
Rennes' 2-1 defeat at home to OGC Nice proved to be the final straw for Julien Stéphan, who tendered his resignation to the club - who accepted it - after the match, per an announcement by the club on Monday morning.
The 40-year-old breathed new life in to the sleeping giants when he took over from Sabri Lamouchi in December 2018, taking them to a surprise Coupe de France in - the club's first silverware in almost 50 years - and a place in European competition for the first time in club history by clinching a Champions League finish in 2019-20.
However, the 2020-21 campaign has proven much tougher for Stéphan, despite big investments in players like Serhou Guirassy, Jérémy Doku, Martin Terrier, Alfred Gomis and Nayef Aguerd - to name a few - and Les Rouge et Noir have amassed just ten wins for eight draws and eight defeats.
Nonetheless, the remain just three points shy of fifth placed FC Metz - with their postponed Round 22 clash with Marseille still to play - and perhaps this possibility of salvaging a European finish from a troubled season informed the timing of Stéphan's big decision.
He will be replaced in the interim by assistant coach Philippe Bizeul, whose first task will be to ready the team for Wednesday night's Round 28 clash with title-chasing Olympique Lyonnais.