An emotional Javi Gracia has stepped down from his position as Osasuna coach after just a season in charge. The Pamplona native couldn't keep his hometown club from relegation into Spain's second division this season, and, by mutual consent, has departed.
However, in a press conference, he suggested relegation wasn't the deciding factor:
"After a meeting with the president, I have decided not to continue. I wanted to stay my whole life, but circumstances dictate that it is not good for me or the club or me. It was a decision made long ago and is not based on being in the Primera or Segunda División. It's the best decision for me and the club, far from economic or contractual issues."
President Miguel Archanco described Gracia in glowing terms:
"... a hard worker, a great person and an honest man. It is a great pleasure to have worked with him, and I sincerely hope that he reaches the highest possible goals."
Certainly, an amicable, but sad end to Gracia's tenure, who leaves despite having earned promotion to the top flight with Almería before taking up the position at Osasuna.