Estonia coach Tarmo Rüütli has quit his role at the helm of club side FC Levadia Tallinn just one match into the new season after his charges slumped to a 4-1 defeat by JK Trans Narva in the Super Cup.
Vladislav Ivanov scored a hat-trick for Trans yesterday but it was Latvian midfielder Filips Mihailovskis, whose transfer was only completed on Friday, who made the initial impact, breaking the deadlock on eleven minutes. Then it was over to Ivanov as Levadia crumbled, their misery compounded by Andrei Kalimullin's dismissal and Rüütli's subsequent departure. A club statement read: "Levadia and Tarmo Rüütli have ended their contract, due to last until the end of 2008, by mutual consent. This will give the coach more time and energy for the Estonian national team, but as the Super Cup game showed, Levadia's team needs change as well."
Levadia have been beset by problems over the past 12 months. Last summer, Estonian international forward Ats Purje was excluded from the squad after refusing to extend his contract, and Konstantin Vassiljev and Artur Kotenko were also frozen out. Rüütli still managed to guide them to a second consecutive Meistriliiga title, but it did not stop owner Viktor Levada relinquishing his position as club president last month, explaining that "success on pitch is not important; the club must break even financially".
Nevertheless, pre-season looked to be going well for Rüütli, with some positive friendly results, but the size of the defeat by Trans – their heaviest since 2003 – was a huge shock. Assistant coach Igor Prins will take temporary charge for Levadia's Baltic League match at FK Sūduva on Tuesday, while Rüütli will focus solely on the Estonia national team – a move he was originally supposed to make at the end of the 2008 season.
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