Legendary Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has left his role as CF Montreal head coach with immediate effect.
Henry, who took charge of the club when they were still known as the Montreal Impact in November 2019, has stepped down due to family reasons.
He led the club to the MLS play-offs last year, the first time the club had achieved the feat since 2016. Under his guidance, Montreal finished with eight wins, two draws and 13 losses in the 2020 campaign.
Henry said in a statement: “It is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to take this decision.
“The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I was unable to see my children. Unfortunately due to the ongoing restrictions and the fact that we will have to relocate to the US again for several months will be no different. The separation is too much of a strain for me and my kids.
“Therefore, it is with much sadness that I must take the decision to return to London and leave CF Montréal.
“I would like to thank the fans, players and all the staff of this Club that have made me feel so welcome. I would also like to thank Kevin Gilmore, Olivier Renard and of course Joey and all of the Saputo family for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
“We had an impossible year together and to make the playoffs with this group of people is an experience that I will never forget. Thank you all for being there on this journey and I wish you all the success for the future.”
Henry’s Montreal promise
Montreal’s sporting director Olivier Renard also put out a statement saying: “Thierry’s departure is unfortunate and premature because this was very promising, but he informed me of his desire to be back with his family because the situation was and remains very difficult for both him and his family.
“I want to thank him, first on a human level because he led the players by example last year by being away from his family, but also from a sporting level and for what we have built together since his arrival. We wanted to elevate this club and we are on the right track.
“The process of finding a new head coach is already underway and I will be looking for someone who is aligned with the philosophy we have implemented.”
What’s Thierry Henry doing now?
Henry’s next steps are unclear, but it would seem likely that he will seek another coaching job in Europe, where he spent a handful of unsuccessful months with Monaco in 2018/19.
The 43-year-old, who made over 350 appearances and scored 228 goals for Arsenal, had been linked with the vacant Bournemouth job, but after talks had faded, they appointed Jonathan Woodgate until the end of the season.