Former Bundesliga defender Christoph Metzelder has hit out at Hoffenheim over their treatment of the club’s fringe players.
Markus Gisdol’s side have undergone an overhaul during the close-season, as the 43-year-old seeks to reverse a slide that saw the club only narrowly escape relegation last term.
A host of high-profile players have been axed from the first-team picture, with former Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese among a group who have been told they are no longer part of Gisdol’s plans and demoted to training with the club’s reserves.
However, that move has drawn criticism from former Schalke and Borussia Dortmund centre-back Metzelder, now vice-president of the players union, who believes that the group have been unfairly treated.
“This is a question of law and morality,” he told Sky. “When two sides sign a contract, you have to stick to it.”
Hoffenheim only just retained their top-flight status last term, securing their place after a 5-2 aggregate victory over Kaiserslautern in the relegation play-off.
It looks likely to be another battle this season for Gisdol’s side, although they started their 2013-14 campaign with a 2-2 draw against Nuremberg on Saturday.