CAIRO: Dutch coach Mark Wotte returned to Ismaili for a second spell, the Egyptian Premier League club announced on Wednesday.
The 49-year-old will succeed Emad Soliman, under whom Ismaili finished third in the league and exited the Egyptian Cup after losing to Harras Hodoud in the semi final.
"Wotte is officially the new coach of Ismaili," the club’s spokesman Alaa Wahid said.
The Dervishes will be looking to end their title drought that stretches back to 2002 when they won the league after beating off competition from bitter rivals Ahly in a breathtaking campaign.
They will have to address persistent financial problems though if they are to compete for domestic and continental honors next season, having booked a place in the African Confederation Cup.
Those problems threaten to destabilize the success-starved team, who are struggling to keep hold of their stars.
Goalkeeper Essam Al-Hadari, who will serve a four-month suspension for violating his Ahly contract in February 2008, said he would leave Ismaili if they did not fulfill their financial obligations towards him.
Ismaili also have to pay Egypt midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou LE 5 million per season to retain his services after he ended a two-year loan spell at UAE side Ahly.
The resignation of Soliman prompted Ismaili to look for a new manager to fill the vacant seat but their eventual choice of Wotte is widely considered a controversial one.
He abruptly left Ismaili, whom he made a fine start with, in December 2006 to take charge of Dutch side Waalwijk, citing personal reasons.
Ismaili approached him again in the summer of 2009 and he agreed to become their coach.
The coastal club were waiting for Wotte’s arrival when he suddenly snubbed them and took over at English side Southampton.
But he is determined to forge a better reputation with Ismaili this time around.
"I’m very happy to return to Ismaili. I have been in contact with the club’s officials since the day I left," Wotte told FilGoal.com.
"I’m not worried by the financial situation, the club assured me that there won’t be any problems.
"Reinforcements are needed but I will not identify any targets until I become familiar with the team."