Melbourne Victory confirm Muscat will stand down as coach


Melbourne Victory’s hunt for a new coach is on - with the conclusion of Kevin Muscat’s storied 14-year tenure confirmed by the club.

Victory released a statement on Monday morning announcing Muscat will leave the club after Wednesday night's Asian Champions League match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima. 

The club has called a press conference for 12.30pm AEST at AAMI Park to formally announce the news, with Muscat to be joined by chairman Anthony Di Pietro and chief executive Trent Jacobs.

An ever-present at Victory since the inception of the A-League - as captain, assistant and then head coach - Muscat has been looking at an exit strategy for several months.

And last week’s shattering 6-1 semi-final humiliation against Sydney FC has heralded a mutual parting of the ways.

It’s understood that Muscat, 45, does not have an offer on the table elsewhere - though there have been reported links to clubs in Qatar.

Instead, he is set to step away - albeit briefly - from the hothouse coaching environment to reboot and refresh ahead of a new life beyond Victory.

The club, whose chairman di Pietro talked of the need for change at a sombre end of season function last Friday, have already been bracketed with outgoing and available former Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz.

However, it’s believed no definitive decisions have yet been made on a successor, though the German - who took the Reds to within a penalty shootout of the grand final - is highly regarded by the Victory hierarchy.

In a statement released by the club, Di Pietro paid tribute to Muscat's time at the club. 

“Kevin has been incredibly successful as both a player and coach and will go down as one of the most influential figures in Melbourne Victory’s history,” Di Pietro said. 

“The parting was an ongoing collaboration and unified decision, and we wish Kevin nothing but the best for his future. 

“He is a talented and highly successful coach, has been such an integral part of our club and will always be part of it.”

Muscat's time in charge of Victory includes two grand final victories, whilst taking the team to another decider which was lost on penalties.

The 45-year-old confirmed that he was happy to move on from the club after 14 years. 

“This is not a decision made overnight or taken lightly,” Muscat said.

“I believe the time is right for me to refresh, and in time, seek a new opportunity after giving everything I’ve got emotionally and physically to Melbourne Victory over the last 14 years.

“We have created and earned many great memories along the way including our eight trophies.

“It goes without saying that I will love and support this football club and wish it nothing but success.” 

As a player, Muscat - who had a year left on his contract - captained Victory to two grand final wins in 2007 and 2009 and a grand final loss in 2010.