“The management of Ludogorets began negotiations to terminate the contract of coach Bruno Ribeiro and his assistants,” the Razgrad-based club, who won the Bulgarian league titles in the last four years, said in a statement on Friday.
The 39-year-old Portuguese, who became Ludogorets’s first foreign coach after signing a two-year contract in June, has been severely criticised by local pundits, media and fans over the club’s dreadful start to the new season.
Ludogorets splurged millions on nine new signings, including four Brazilians and two Romanians, but were knocked out of Champions League’s second preliminary round after losing 3-1 on aggregate to Moldovian minnows Milsami Orhei.
The Eagles were beaten 1-0 by Cherno More Varna in the Bulgarian Super Cup on Wednesday and their performances in the domestic league were described as ‘mediocre’ with Ribeiro criticised for his poor decisions during matches.
Ludogorets reacted quickly and turned to former Bulgaria striker Eranosyan, who led Lokomotiv Plovdiv to the league title in 2004 and then Angolan club Kabuscorp to the domestic title in 2013.
“Eduard Eranosyan is part of the coaching staff as of today,” Ludogorets said.
The 54-year-old served a four-year ban for giving his players pills containing an anabolic steroid during his spell as coach of Cypriot club APOP Kinyras in 2008.
In October, Ludogorets became the first Bulgarian team to register a Champions League group stage victory when they beat Switzerland’s Basel 1-0.
Ribeiro would become the third coaching casualty in the Bulgarian league this season with leaders Litex Lovech and Botev Plovdiv also changing their coaches.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)