Relegation-bound FC Schalke 04 sack coach Gross in major clear out

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 28, 2021, 05.34 PM(IST)

Crisis-hit Schalke sack Gross in major clear out Photograph:( AFP )

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Bundesliga club FC Schalke on Sunday sacked almost their complete sporting leadership group, including head coach Christian Gross, following an alleged player revolt after the German club's 16th league defeat took their season deeper into crisis.   

Bundesliga club FC Schalke on Sunday sacked almost their complete sporting leadership group, including head coach Christian Gross, following an alleged player revolt after the German club's 16th league defeat took their season deeper into crisis.   

"The decision had become unavoidable after results against Dortmund and Stuttgart," said Schalke chairman Jens Buchta in a statement following Schalke's 5-1 loss to Stuttgart on Saturday, a week after a defeat to arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund.  

"The team now owe it to the club and the fans to be as successful as possible in the last third of the season." 

 Head coach Gross, sporting director Jochen Schneider and team co-ordinator Sascha Riether were all sacked from their respective roles in Sunday's mass clear out of FC Schalke. Gross’ assistant Rainer Widmayer and fitness coach Were Leuthard were also fired from their roles with the move coming with one-time giants Schalke lying bottom of the Bundesliga standings and nine points clear of safety after winning just one of their 23 league matches in the ongoing 2020-21 season. 

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Schalke are now heading towards their first-ever relegation since 1988. Notably, they were playing Champions League football two seasons ago – making their dip even more shocking. 

Gross took over Schalke just two months ago, taking over from interim coach Huub Stevens to become the club's fourth coach of the season. 

While Gross won his second game in charge – defying a record-equalling 54-year-old Bundesliga record of 31 matches without a win. However, he couldn't stop the downward spiral. 

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Reports of player revolt against Gross came to light in the German media last week. Team co-ordinator Reither played down the speculations, saying it was "normal that players are disappointed"  

However, both Gross and Reither were relieved of their duties on Sunday. The club has already begun to rebuild for the second division, handing over squad planning duties to loan director Mike Bueskens and youth director Peter Knaebel.  

A replacement for Gross as head coach is yet to be announced. 

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