The chaos around Schalke isn’t subsiding any time soon with the club sacking their senior leadership team on Sunday, meaning they’re the first side in Bundesliga history with five different coaches in one season.
Schalke are bottom of the German top-flight with just nine points from 23 matches and they’re nine points behind Arminia Bielefeld, who are in the relegation play-off spot.
They also became the Bundesliga’s worst side in 50 years following a 5-1 defeat to Stuttgart on Saturday as the Gelsenkirchen-based side stare towards a first relegation since 1988.
“On Sunday, Schalke 04 dismissed head coach Christian Gross and his assistant Rainer Widmayer,” a club statement said.
“Squad manager Sascha Riether and Werner Leuthard, head of performance, have also been released. The supervisory board also decided during a conference call to lay off Jochen Schneider, the sport and communications executive, with immediate effect.”
A new coach is yet to be appointed but Peter Knabel, a coach and director of the club’s youth academy, is in charge for the interim.
David Wagner, Manuel Baum, Huub Stevens were the other Schalke managers in 2020/21.
This is a record in the Bundesliga’s nearly 60-year-long history, with the record of four different coaches held by several clubs including Hamburg and Hertha Berlin.
“The decisions made today became inevitable after the disappointing results against Dortmund and Stuttgart,” said Jens Buchta, the head of the supervisory board.. “We must not beat around the bush: The sporting situation is obvious. That’s why we must think ahead to the new season with every personnel decision we take now.”
Butcha reached this senior position as Clemens Tonnies departed last summer after making racist remarks in 2019.
ESPN journalist Derek Rae claims BILD reports that Gross and his team were dismissed following a player revolt led by loanee from Arsenal Sead Kolasinac and former Gunner Shkodran Mustafi, as well as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
The trio signed during the January transfer window and were understood to be unhappy with Gross mixing up names in team meetings as well as his training routine.
ESPN adds Schalke ultras paid a visit to the club’s team hotel ahead of their 4-0 humiliation at home to Borussia Dortmund last week.
The ultras demanded explanations from the players and leadership and also mocked sporting executive Schneider, suggesting that instead of the medical department the groundsman carried out Huntelaar’s medical ahead of his return from Ajax.
The 37-year-old club legend has only played 10 of a possible 630 minutes since re-joining and has missed six of seven games with injury.
Furthermore, earlier this season they sacked their technical director, suspended two players (Nabil Bentaleb and Amine Harit) from the first-team – both of whom have since returned – and parted ways with a third player, Vedad Ibisevic, who joined before the start of the season.
Schalke have won just two of their last 44 games and lost 26, adding up more defeats than goals. They have scored 25 and conceded 98.
The club have also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Their already critical financial situation has worsened but Schalke said earlier this month they will be able to finance a year in Bundesliga 2.