French football authorities are considering a new management structure to support national team coach Raymond Domenech.
Domenech oversaw a stuttering, but ultimately successful World Cup qualifying campaign, and the France Football Federation (FFF) confirmed last week there would be no change of coach.
However, the idea of bringing in a general manager and a director of sport was discussed at a meeting last Thursday by Club France – an organisation created as an advisory board by the FFF.
And reports suggest Club France will recommend installing Lens chairman Gervais Martel as general manager and former Liverpool, Lyon and France manager Gerard Houllier as director of sport when the FFF meet on 29th January.
“Six months away from the World Cup it would not be reasonable to separate ourselves from our coach,” said Jean-Pierre Louvel, president of the union of professional football clubs.
“So we didn’t have the desire to vote anyone out or impose a diktat. But we couldn’t just stand around doing nothing.
“We have to consider all the solutions so that the France team stirs up passion once again. Not to do anything would be a lacking of our responsibilities.”
Zinedine Zidane, who won the 1998 World Cup with France and retired after being sent off in the 2006 final, is the latest critic of the national team set-up.
“This team is definitely open to criticism, although I prefer to look at the positives,” he said in an interview with France Football.
“It’s hard to see them playing like this while there are good players. It’s not nice to see them go out there with a lot of difficulty each time.
“Their qualifying group was well within their range, as well as the play-offs. Considering the value of certain France players, I am disappointed to see them play like this.”