Struggling Sparta Prague fires coach Andrea Stramaccioni

PRAGUE (AP) — Struggling Sparta Prague has fired Andrea Stramaccioni as coach despite spending big on new players.

The move comes after Sparta drew 1-1 with 10-man Brno over the weekend. The team is fifth in the standings, 14 points behind leader Viktoria Plzen.

Sparta opted to hire a foreign coach after struggling at home and abroad last year. The most famous Czech club, once a regular in the Champions League, last played in the top European competition in 2005.

Stramaccioni was given a long-term task to build a new team. He signed 11 foreign players before the season and more during the winter break but the club lost patience after the team showed no signs of improvement.

Stramaccioni previously coached at Inter and Udinese in Italy, and at Panathinaikos in Greece.

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