The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) is letting head coach Javier Mínguez go despite guiding the team to a World Championship win with Alejandro Valverde.
Including Valverde's gold, Mínguez helped Spain to five medals in his six years. The two fell out after Mínguez asked for a raise for the coming 2019 season.
"Surprised, no, but personally disappointed, yes," he told Europa Press. "But if you worked without [pay] with a federation that said it had no money when everyone else was taking a salary it's not what you hope for."
Mínguez worked without salary for 2013 and 2014 while the federation tried to come out of its debt. It says it still is in the red for €1.5 million.
In the last years, he earned €25,000 plus bonuses of 15,000, 10,000 and 5000 for each medal won.
"I went to Florence [in 2013] in a rented car, sleeping in a hotel for €80 and I didn't get paid back the expenses," he added.
"If you loan money to a friend and a friend doesn't pay you back, you lose the money and the friend."
The loss comes on the heels of Spain's win with Alejandro Valverde at the Worlds in Innsbruck, Austria.
Valverde and others have already voiced their displeasure. Joaquím Rodriguez won the silver medal under Mínguez's direction in Florence.
Rodríguez wrote on Twitter: "Would Barcelona [soccer team] fire its [manager] if it won the Champion's League? Wouldn't they raise his salary and extend his contract?"
The federation said that it must continue its "exhaustive control of spending" given its debt.
"The federation will continue with the economic policy," read a federation statement. "And it does not for salary increases that has been demanded publicly by Javier Mínguez. Therefore we will have a new national coach.
"The federation wants to wish Javier Mínguez the best for the future, as well as to thank him for his dedication and dedication to the Spanish national team during this successful journey."
Under-23 coach Pascual Momparler or three-time worlds winner Oscar Freire could take over.
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