“The most difficult decision of my career”: Jean-Michel Guillon explains the eviction of Jono Gibbes

The 44 points conceded by the Auvergnats on Friday evening at Marcel-Michelin against Leicester (29-44) were the last straw. This Monday, Jean-Michel Guillon pressed the red button and dismissed Jono Gibbes from his duties. The Clermont president explained the same day on this decision during a necessarily heavy press conference.
Clermont: this incredible failure that leaves so many regrets

“Jono was a personal trainer for me. He was the first person I went to look for in La Rochelle and beyond the connection that there can be between a trainer and a president, there was a relationship between us people and trust. I’ve had a fairly full professional life, it’s probably the most difficult decision I’ve had to make in my career! It’s not just the sidelining of his duties as a trainer, it is also a personal relationship that must be taken into account”.

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Traditionally recognized for its phlegm and stability, the Clermont club had to shake up its habits in the face of the emergency : “We could not be satisfied with being like the previous year in the middle of the table (…). When you are president and we have the ambitions that we have for this club, the question is whether we can have a reaction or if we need an electric shock because we always want to maintain this ambition. I accept the decision that I made to remove the responsibility of the team from Jono Gibbes because I assumed that our capacity to react could not be done in the short time we have left to react.

Jared Payne takes over as interim, Gibbes successor known in coming days

“Clubs live with stories of men, we all have in mind the duo formed by Vern Cotter and René Fontes, or that of Franck Azéma with Eric de Cromières and I can tell you that for two years, in my mind, it existed the duo between Jono and myself. Today, it no longer exists and as president it touches me because our relationship has been strong 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. I am convinced that it is the right decision, but it’s not an easy decision”.

Top 14 – Clermont – Gibbes

Credit: Icon Sport

Jean-Michel Guillon took advantage of this speech to specify that the former Irish international Jared Payne, until then in charge of defense under Jono Gibbes, would act as interim until the successor of the former La Rochelle coach is formalized “in the coming days”, said the Clermont president. According to information from Midi Olympique, Christophe Urios, fired from UBB in mid-November, would be very close to Marcel-Michelin, Mario Ledesma being the other serious avenue explored by the leaders of the ASMCA.

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