Tony Popovic leaves Melbourne Victory after A-League Grand Final loss

13/06/2024
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Popovic decides not to renew with Melbourne Victory.

In three seasons at the club, Tony Popovic guided Melbourne Victory to an Australia Cup title and Grand Final finish

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News Insights

  • Melbourne Victory confirmed on Wednesday that manager Tony Popovic would be leaving the club.
  • Popovic’s last match for the Victory was a 3-1 loss in the 2023-24 A-League Men’s Grand Final against Gold Coast Mariners.
  • Most reports claim Popovic left Victory over disputes with ownership rather than seeking a better job elsewhere.
  • Former Melbourne City centre back Patrick Kisnorbo is the betting sites favourite to replace Popovic.

Melbourne Victory are now looking for a new head coach after Tony Popovic’s decision to part ways with the club. The 50-year-old former Crystal Palace and Sydney FC star leaves the Big V on a high after guiding the club all the way to the Grand Finals this season. 

Tony Popovic leaves Melbourne Victory 

The Melbourne Victory confirmed on Wednesday that manager Tony Popovic would be leaving the club.  
 
“Melbourne Victory can confirm A-League Men’s Head Coach Tony Popovic will depart the Club after the completion of his contract,” the Big V said in a statement.  
 
“Popovic leaves Victory with an Australia Cup title as well as a Semi-Final and Grand Final finish in his three seasons at the Club, guiding Victory back to its powerhouse status after a tumultuous period in the Club’s history. 
 
“Popovic joined Victory at the start of the 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League season, re-building a squad that would ultimately see the Club finishing one point off the Premier’s Plate in his first season.” 
 
Melbourne Victory Chairman, John Dovaston, praised Popovic for his time at the club, saying that “Tony enlisted a winning culture which leaves the Club in a better place than when he arrived.” 
 
Popovic’s last match for the Victory was a 3-1 loss in the 2023-24 A-League Men’s Grand Final against Gold Coast Mariners. That match was Popovic’s fifth A-League Men Grand Finals defeat as a manager, having previously lost while in charge of Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory. 
 
It’s unclear who Popovic will manage next. Most reports claim the manager left Victory over disputes with ownership rather than seeking a better job elsewhere.  

Next Melbourne Victory manager candidates 

Former Melbourne City centre back Patrick Kisnorbo is the betting sites favourite to replace Popovic. The 43-year-old most recently managed the A-League All Stars Men to an 8-0 win over Newcastle in May.  
 
Prior to managing the All-Stars, Kisnorbo served as manager of side Troyes during the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season. Like Melbourne City, Troyes are owned by the City Football Group. They were relegated during Kisnorbo’s one season in charge of the club. Troyes won just three matches while Kisnorbo was in charge.  
 
His poor record and connections to Melbourne Victory’s bitter rivals may be enough to put the Dark Blues off from signing Kisnorbo.

Adelaide United assistant coach Mark Milligan, Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, and Western United assistant coach Hayden Foxe have also been linked to the Melbourne Victory job.  

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