Omonia FC has sacked their head coach Henning Stile Berg after the club failed to secure one of the six spots in the Championship play-offs for the title.
It is the first time Omonia have missed the play-off since they were introduced in 2007.
Henning Stile Berg, a former Manchester United player and Norwegian international, leaves behind a legacy as he managed to turn Omonia into champions since his arrival in 2019.
He led the team to first place in 2019-2020 but were not given the title after the season was cut short in March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Berg was behind the wheel the following season when they clinched their 21st championship title, following an 11-year dry spell.
Clinching first place in 2020, Omonia was awarded a chance at the lucrative Champions League group stages.
“Mr Henning Berg has left his mark on Omonia and its history.
“Under his leadership, the team regained its former competitive glory, reached historical successes, won titles, played good football, filled stadiums and restored the fan base’s pride,” said Omonia announcing Berg’s dismissal.
“The club’s 21st league title, the 17th super cup, first place of the 2019-20 season and the qualification to the Europa League and Europa Conference League groups all bear the seal of Mr Henning Berg, who led the team for 114 matches,” it added.
Berg masterminded the elimination of Red Star Belgrade in the 2020 Champions League, taking Omonia to the play-offs for the first time in its then 72-year history.
Omonia was eliminated by Olympiacos Piraeus in the CL play-offs but acquired a ticket for the UEFA Europa League group stages.
Omonia found itself once more on the Champions League path in 2021, but a series of tough draws, having to face teams like Antwerp.
The team found itself in the newly introduced Europa Conference League.
Omonia’s 2020 Europa group stage qualification generated €8 mln, of which €5 mln is a bonus for participating in the Champions League play-offs after being knocked out by Greek opponents Olympiacos Piraeus.
This year, in the Europa Conference League, it cashed €4 mln.
The club’s recent successes come after a decade of failure to reach the top spot in the Cypriot league and financial difficulties, which almost led the historic club to bankruptcy in 2018.
The club’s flagging fortunes were revived after being taken over by millionaire Stavros Papastavrou, in 2018 pledging to invest more than €30 mln.
The New York-based investor made good on his word from day one, saving Omonia by directly injecting €1.5 mln, crucial to pass UEFA’s financial criteria, which the club could not have met otherwise.
He also absorbed €9.5 mln of the club’s €15 mln debt, promising the football team will receive €5 mln every year for transfers and the payroll.