Hertha BSC is sinking into personnel chaos again. Fredi Bobic has lost his job as sports manager - the strong man in the club has to go.
The decision was made when many of the fans of the Bundesliga soccer team, which was already in serious trouble in terms of sport, were still on their way home after the 2-0 defeat in the capital derby against 1. FC Union. According to media reports, the former Hertha professional Andreas "Zecke" Neuendorf and Benjamin Weber could now take over the sporting responsibility.
The club summarized the separation from Bobic in three lines. "The Executive Committee of Hertha BSC, together with the Supervisory Board of Hertha BSC e.V., have unanimously decided to release its Managing Director Sport, Fredi Bobic, from his duties with immediate effect."
For the time being, there was no more information about the surprising decision. In the evening, "Bild" and Sport1 then unanimously reported that the long-time Hertha professional Neuendorf and the former academy director Weber should take over the sporting responsibility at Hertha. In a press conference this Sunday at 1 p.m., Hertha wants to comment. A media round with trainer Sandro Schwarz was scheduled for two hours earlier in the morning.
Separation from Bobic a rash act?
The extent to which the coach's position has been further weakened in view of the unchecked sporting misery is open. Despite the fifth defeat in a row against the rivals from the east of the city, who are now clearly dominating in Berlin, the separation from Bobic seems like a short-sighted action.
There was initially no reaction from Bobic, who had given TV interviews after the 2-0 loss in the Olympic Stadium, nor from President Kay Bernstein. His last tweet until the evening was a photo together with Bobic and professional Maximilian Mittelstädt for his contract extension on January 18th. "A strong sign - WE Herthaner together for a successful blue and white future!"
Bobic's sporting future is no longer blue and white. The 1996 European champion had repeatedly emphasized how satisfied he was in Berlin. Also because he had been traded at the German Football Association as the successor to director Oliver Bierhoff. He has a demanding job at Hertha - and fun too. "I only think of Hertha BSC, I live in the here and now. The boys, the coaching team - I've grown fond of them," said Bobic at the time.
Bobic has only been with Hertha since the 2021/22 season
The 51-year-old was hired as managing director of the capital club in April 2021 for the 2021/22 season. Great hopes were placed in the successor to long-time manager Michael Preetz, to lead the club from the West End to where it sees itself: up. At Eintracht Frankfurt Bobic had done that. In Berlin, however, there were no sporting advances.
In last season's relegation battle, Bobic even brought Felix Magath out of the coaching retirement. It worked, Hertha didn't get relegated because the Berliners prevailed in the relegation against Magath's former club Hamburger SV.
Coach Schwarz gets the backing of his pros
They promised improvement from black - especially Bobic. The hopes were not fulfilled when looking at the table. After the weak start to the year with defeats at VfL Bochum (1:3), against VfL Wolfsburg (0:5) and against Union, Hertha is only 17th in the table. 14 points from 18 games - far too little. And that in a phase in which Hertha is involved in a share sale deal with a US private equity company.
The business relationship with financier Lars Windhorst, which also repeatedly caused discord and ridicule, ended with a lot of noise. The new investor is in the starting blocks and, like the team, should be watching the events with the greatest attention.
Trainer Schwarz can be sure of the backing of his pros - even without Bobic. "We also have a lot of trust in the coach," said captain Marco Richter after the derby defeat against Union. "It's no secret that he's a great fit for us. He's just as lacking in points as we are." The "common path" will "hopefully" continue. Together is now but ever without Bobic.