Klinsmann Words: 883
It's been a sensational few days at Hertha Berlin and it doesn't seem quite ready to end yet. The capital club were the biggest spenders across the globe during the January transfer window, yet interim head coach, Jürgen Klinsmann sensationally stepped down on Tuesday, using his Facebook account to announce the decision.
“We were on a good path and despite difficult games had moved six points away from the relegation spots. I am totally convinced that Hertha will stay up,” the ex-USMNT boss said in his social media post.
“But for that task to be completed, as head coach, I need the trust of all those involved. In the fight against relegation unity, solidarity and concentration are the key elements. If they are not guaranteed then I cannot deliver on my full potential as a coach and cannot live up to my responsibilities.” Klinsmann continued.
“That’s why, after long thought, I came to the conclusion to make my position as coach of Hertha available and return to my original long-term task as a supervisory board member.” the 55-year-old ended with.
However, the decision Klinsmann came to completely blindsided Hertha, the players, and general manager Michael Preetz only finding out in the hours before the announcement on Facebook.
The 1990 FIFA World Cup Winner had only been in the coaching role for 76 days before his surprise announcement, prior to that his appointment to the supervisory board of the club came in November—just before the dismissal of Hertha's then-head coach, Ante Covic.
A decision to sack Covic was made as Hertha edged towards the relegation places of the Bundesliga, something majority investor Lars Windhorst was keen to avoid, bringing in Klinsmann to protect his then $137.7 million (€125 million) stake in the club.
Speaking at the time, Klinsmann said: "In all the talks I had with Lars [Windhorst], I could feel the enthusiasm, delight, and trust from all those involved and I'm convinced that I can help make this a successful partnership with my experience and also with my network.”
Windhorst has since purchased an extra 12 percent of the club, taking his company's overall control to 49.9 percent, the cost was an additional $110 million (€100 million).
Hertha used their Windhorst payday to sign $81 million (€76 million) worth of new players over January - however, of the 10 matches Klinsmann oversaw at Berlin's 'Old Lady' there were only three victories.
A combination of three draws and three losses saw the club perform under their anticipated level, even dropping out of the DFB Pokal in early February to Schalke after leading 2-0 at half time.
Hertha hit back at Klinsmann after his Facebook announcement, Preetz put a statement out on the club's official website commenting “after the trustful cooperation regarding decisions over personnel in the winter transfer period, there was no sign of it [the resignation]. We will inform of further developments at the appropriate time.”
That wasn't it for Klinsmann, he took to Facebook once again on Wednesday evening, using the platform's 'live' facility to explain his decision further.
“Thank you for the incredibly intense and exciting 10 weeks” he opened with to the 10,000 eager viewers. “Money was never an issue, never a problem it isn't about that – it is a matter of division and ideas. We [Herha] were not able to rectify these divisions. This matter primarily affects me and Michael Preetz”
It’s an opening statement from Klinsmann that not all was well between the two members of the club's higher echelon. He went on to explain further, in a move that baffled many.
"In Germany, you expect the coach to sit on the bench, close to the team, close to the players. If you know it from England, the coach is the coach and the only manger is the club manager."
"It hit me enormously that the manager sits there and makes his comments to the players, the referees. The whole management team has a say, but ultimately someone has to decide - that's the coach in my eyes.”
Klinsmann eluded to the fact he wasn't keen with Preetz having the power and ability to shape the club, something that is completely normal in Germany. The 55-year-old has never coached in England but has been the head at Bayern before where the situation is exceptionally similar.
Both Preetz and Windhorst spoke at Hertha's press conference on Thursday morning, but it was Preetz who addressed the words of Klinsmann directly.
“Jürgen Klinsmann's decision totally surprised us on Tuesday morning. There were no signs of this, especially after the trusting cooperation in the past years.
“I have been involved in football for many years, but I have never experienced such a situation. Unfortunately, we were deprived of the opportunity to react. The well-being of Hertha BSC is always the focus.”
“Our focus now is on preparation with Alexander Nouri and Markus Feldhoff, the game against Paderborn and the coming weeks when we have to get important points.” the sporting director said.
It is now Nouri and Feldhoff who will take Hertha forward in the short term from the pitchside but as for the supervisory situation - it is now over. Klinsmann was relieved of all duties at the club by Preetz and Windhorst on Thursday afternoon.