Soccer-Las Palmas sack Ayestaran after seventh loss in nine

BARCELONA, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Struggling La Liga side Las Palmas sacked coach Pako Ayestaran on Thursday following a run of seven defeats in nine games in all competitions, parting ways with their second manager of the season three months into the campaign.

The club made the announcement in a statement on their website ( after the 3-2 defeat at home to Deportivo La Coruna in the King’s Cup, even though they still reached the last 16 of the tournament 6-4 on aggregate.

A former assistant to Rafa Benitez at Liverpool and Valencia, Ayestaran holds the record for the most consecutive defeats in Spanish top flight history, losing 13 games in a row in charge of Valencia last season and Las Palmas this term.

He brought that dismal run to an end with a 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad last Sunday, which took the side off the bottom of La Liga and up to 19th in the standings.

Ayestaran took charge of Las Palmas on Sept. 27 after Manolo Marquez resigned from the role following two wins and four defeats. His only victory with the Canary Island side was a 4-1 win over Deportivo in the first leg of their last 32 Cup tie.

The club said assistant coaches Paquito Ortiz and Rafa Cristobal would take charge of the team until a replacement was announced.

According to Spanish media reports, former Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez, who had a brief spell in charge of Las Palmas between 2010-11, is the club’s top choice to succeed Ayestaran after parting ways with Mexican side Cruz Azul last week. (Reporting by Richard Martin)