Mario Been's position had been in danger for weeks. Genk only picked up 3 points from 9 matches and were ousted in the Belgian Cup quarter-finals by KV Oostende.
The win in Genk (Limburg) allowed Waasland-Beveren to move out of the relegation zone, while at the same time Genk saw AA Gent reducing the gap to 3 points. Genk are currently still 6th in the standings, and desperately need to hold on to that place to secure the final ticket for Play-off 1.
It is believed that this, in combination with the fact that frictions emerged between 50-year-old Been and some key players, led to the Dutchman's dismissal. Mario Been has been with the club for 2.5 years. Mario Been will be replaced by 46-year-old Emilio Ferreira, who previously was at the helm of Club Brugge, Lokeren, FC Brussels and La Louvière among other clubs. A young promising coach in the past, he never managed his big breakthrough at the highest level.
"He is a good coach and a good person"
At a press conference this morning, the Genk management gave more details about their decision. "We are saying goodbye to someone who is a good person and a good coach - no doubt about that", General Manager Dirk Degraen told reporters.
"His dismissal is not about whether he is a good coach or a good person. I think everybody agrees on that. The only question is whether we can now find someone else who can strike the chord that Mario failed to find at a certain stage. (...) Mario realised that one day the defeat would come that would mean the straw that broke the camel's back." Mr Degraen next asked a round of applause from his audience to thank Mario Been.
KRC Genk want to find a replacement as soon as possible, maybe even before the Europa League tie against Anzji this Thursday. Last week, Genk managed a goalless draw in Russia.
Club Brugge score 5 in Leuven
In other action on Sunday, Standard suffered a first home defeat of the season against AA Gent (2-3). Central defender Ante Puljic headed home the winning-goal for Ghent 1 minute from time.
Club Brugge defeated OH Leuven 2-5 in Leuven and seem to be reaching their best form just in time for the shock against leaders Standard next weekend, in Bruges. A Bruges win would reduce the gap with leaders Standard to just 4 points.