Bayern Munich have sacked manager Niko Kovac after the German giants were thrashed 5-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Kovac, who played 51 games for the club between 2001 and 2003, had been under fire following a string of poor league results and he leaves the Bavarian side in fourth place in the Bundesliga table after 18 points from ten games.
It had been reported that the Croatian boss would be given the chop if he lost the team’s crucial next league game against title rivals Dortmund, but his 17-month stint is over after the club’s woeful display against Frankfurt.
Bayern have struggled this season under Kovac’s leadership and the team are trailing suprise league leaders Monchengladbach by four points. Notably poor results came in the last five games as a 2-1 home loss to Hoffenheim was followed by a 2-2 draw away at FC Augsburg.
And the club were nearly shocked by 2.Bundesliga strugglers Bochum in the German Cup when Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller’s late heroics bailed them out in a slender 2-1 win.
A Bayern statement read: ‘Niko Kovač is no longer coach of Bayern Munich. This is what Uli Hoeness, president of FC Bayern, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of FC Bayern, Hasan Salihamidžić, sports director of FC Bayern, has agreed with Niko Kovač this Sunday by mutual agreement. Kovač had offered to FC Bayern Munich his resignation as coach.
‘The performance of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown us that there was need for action,’ Rummenigge said.
‘Uli Hoeness, Hasan Salihamidžić and I have an open and serious conversation with Niko on this basis on Sunday with the consensual result that Niko is no longer coach of Bayern.
We all regret this development. I would like to thank Niko Kovač on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, especially for winning the doubles this past season. ‘
Assistant manager Hans Flick will take temporary charge of the side for next week’s Champions League group stage tie with Olympiakos, as well as a pivotal meeting with Dortmund next weekend.