Just three months after Melbourne Heart called in John Van `t Schip as their white knight, they have given him the chance to build an A-League empire.
The stars have aligned perfectly for Van `t Schip, who has earned a three-year contract extension at the same time as soccer giants Manchester City have become the Heart’s majority owners.
Van `t Schip rejoined the club as their manager in December following John Aloisi’s sacking.
On January 23, Manchester City confirmed they would have a controlling stake in the Heart.
Van `t Schip will now be in charge until the end of the 2016-17 season and will have the backing of City’s vast finances as he tries to turn the Heart into an A League power.
It is the first major decision at the Heart since the new ownership structure was announced.
“John has not only secured great results and helped the team build on our philosophy of playing attractive football, but he has illustrated that he has the ability and desire to take the club forward next season,” said Heart chief executive Scott Munn.
Van `t Schip’s rescue mission has been spectacular – in their last nine games, the Heart have earned 20 out of a possible 27 points with six wins, two draws and only one loss.
They have a faint hope of making the finals.
Van ‘t Schip, 50, was the Heart’s inaugural head coach from 2009-12.
Aloisi took over the role, but Melbourne’s poor form this summer doomed him.
Van `t Schip originally was brought back for the rest of the season, but quickly warmed to the idea of working under Manchester City ownership.
“Everybody was excited about it and still is,” the former Ajax and Netherlands coach said.
“It’s massive for the club and for Australian football in general.
“The biggest reason (I left) was the growth of the club was difficult, there was not really a next step.
“But with the new owners coming in that’s all different.
The club’s makeover will includes a complete review from top to bottom – from players and staff right through to team colours and name and the potential for investment in a new training base.