Hertha Berlin Unexpectedly Fires Bobic As Head Of Sport

Hertha Berlin Unexpectedly Fires Bobic As Head Of Sport

FILE - Berlin's sporting director Fredi Bobic before the Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg on August 21, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. He sacked Hertha's sporting director Fredi Bobic after a 2-0 loss to Union Berlin in a one-on-one match. . City derby on Saturday, January 28, 2023 (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File) (Michael Sohn/Associated Press) © (Michael Sohn / Associated Press) FILE – Berlin sporting director Fredi Bobic before the German Bundesliga match between Hertha and Wolfsburg on August 21, 2021 in Berlin. Hertha sacked sporting director Fredi Bobic after losing 2-0 to Union Berlin. City derby on Saturday, January 28, 2023 (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File) (Michael Sohn/Associated Press)

Hertha Berlin unexpectedly sacked sporting director Fredi Bobic after Saturday's city derby defeat to Union 2-0.

Bobic's departure came as a surprise as he was seen as the Bundesliga club's main hope of righting the wrongs of others, after a failed attempt to turn Hertha into a cash-strapped "big city club" left them as permanent relegation contenders. . .

Bobic has been in charge of the team since June 2021 and is responsible for signing and coaching the team. A cash-strapped club has seen more departures than arrivals of late as it hopes to cut costs.

The defeat to Al Ittihad was Hertha's third in a row at the start of 2023, leaving them second in the relegation zone. He scored fewer points than at the same stage last season, when he avoided collapse with an upset victory in the playoffs.

Despite the team's struggles, Bobic escaped criticism for doing the best he could with limited funds. Even recently, he was associated with the position of sports director of the German national team. Eventually, former German striker and manager Rudi Völler was hired.

Kicker magazine reported that there had been internal dissension with Bobick for several months. Bobic was responsible for sacking club favorite Paul Dardy as manager last season and replacing him with the failed Hurricane Gorgood. He praised Felix Magath for his efforts to rescue the club from relegation.

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Bobic, who worked successfully for 5 years in a similar position in "Eintracht Frankfurt", was not lucky in "Hertha". His transfers were unsuccessful.

It was unclear whether the derby defeat played a role in Hertha's decision to sack Bobic due to internal transfer red tape, but the announcement was made two hours after the game.

"The presidency, together with the Supervisory Board of Hertha BSCEV, unanimously decided to immediately dismiss its sporting director, Fredi Bobic," the club said in a statement.

Hertha said they would hold a press conference on Sunday, but gave no details.

Bobick's tenure was marked by turmoil before and after taking office.

Former general manager Michael Britz resigned in January 2021, ending his 25-year association with the club. Former Sky Germany CEO Carsten Schmidt managed the club for less than a year before leaving in October 2021 for personal reasons. Sports director Arne Friedrich also left the club.

Hertha have been in turmoil since millionaire Lars Windhorst first invested in the club in June 2019. Windhorst has invested 374 million euros ($408 million) in Hertha as he looks to turn Hertha into a Champions League contender.

No way. Bobic said the money ran out last year.

In November, Windhorst agreed to sell his 64.7 percent stake in Miami-based 777 Partners after a dispute with club president Kay Bernstein. The controversy follows allegations that Windhorst hired an Israeli investigative agency to blackmail former boss Werner Gegenbauer. Contract number 777 has not yet been approved by Hertha and the Bundesliga board.

"Hertha" manager Sandra Schwartz has been in the eighth place in the squad since 2019.

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Before Saturday's loss, Bobic said Schwartz was in no danger of losing his job no matter what.

Bobic went instead.


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This story originally appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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