Hertha Berlin have sacked head coach Bruno Labbadia and general manager Michael Preetz following a poor run of form.
Saturday’s 4-1 home loss to fellow strugglers Werder Bremen proved to be the final game in charge for Labbadia, who was only appointed nine months ago.
Labbadia guided Hertha from 13th to 10th upon taking over from Jurgen Klinsmann last season but the Old Lady have failed to push on this term.
They have lost three of their previous four games and have won just four of their 18 league matches all season.
With the capital club only two points above the relegation play-off spot having played a game more than 16th-place Cologne, the board has now taken action.
Hertha confirmed the news on their official website on Sunday, with chairman Carsten Schmidt concerned about his side’s slide down the division.
“Week in, week out, Bruno and his coaching staff have invested a lot of hard work into the team’s development and we would like to thank him greatly for that,” Schmidt said.
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) January 23, 2021
“Ultimately, however, the return of 17 points from 18 games leaves us in a very precarious situation.
“After much deliberation, we feel that a change of head coach can give the team fresh impetus. We will clarify his successor as head coach in the coming days.”
Preetz has spent close to a quarter of a century at Hertha, including the past 12 years as part of the management staff.
Sporting director Arne Friedrich will take over Preetz’s duties until the end of the campaign, when a permanent replacement will be announced.
President Werner Gegenbauer said: “Hertha have a lot to thank Michael Preetz for. During his time here, he has established Hertha as a Bundesliga club.
“But looking at the development both in the last campaign and the current one, we have decided to take a different direction for his role in the future.
“Nevertheless, I want to express my sincerest thanks to Michael Preetz for his fine work for so many years.”
Hertha were among the biggest spenders in European football in 2020, bringing in the likes of Krzysztof Piatek, Matheus Cunha and Lucas Tousart.
Piatek and Cunha have scored a combined 19 goals in 60 Bundesliga appearances since arriving in January last year, with the latter responsible for 11 of those goals.
While their big-name forwards have failed to fire, Hertha have also struggled defensively. Only bottom-two sides Mainz (38) and Schalke (44) have conceded more than their 32 goals in 2020-21.
Hertha’s next permanent head coach will be their fifth in the past two years with Pal Dardai, Ante Covic, Klinsmann and now Labbadia having departed since June 2019.
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