Saved, but not pacified – at the 1. FC koln still in a tense mood after happy ending in relegation battle. In view of the excitement surrounding the release of horst heldt, the club’s bosses were anxious to smooth the waters.
The fact that the manager had to leave the day after the successful relegation against kiel, of all things, caused surprise in many places. Heldt made no secret of his frustration. "This came as a surprise. I have to digest all this first and let it sink in. I liked to have been at the 1. FC koln, my heart is attached to this club," he told the "kolner stadtanzeiger".
Unlike heldt, alexander wehrle remains with the FC. Although the financial manager expressed his regret about the end of the cooperation with heldt, he still sees his future in koln. "In probably one of the most difficult financial situations in the club’s history, the club is fully aware of its responsibility. I could not look in the mirror if I was now say I no longer take responsibility. We have extreme challenges ahead of us," he said, referring to the economic consequences of the ongoing corona pandemic.
No wehrle change to stuttgart
Wehrle, who has been linked to league rivals vfb stuttgart, ruled out a change of club: "i respect my employer’s attitude that they won’t let me out of a contract that goes until 2023. That’s why I turned down the people in charge from stuttgart. The issue is settled."
Heldt’s role in the strategic direction of the athletic department and squad planning will initially be taken over by executive board advisor jorg jakobs. However, the player, who is also employed at the colonn sports academy, is not planned as a permanent replacement. "The term interim stands as a headline above. I don’t see myself in a long-term role," commented jakobs.
Nevertheless, vice president eckhard sauren feels there is no need to rush in the search for a more permanent heldt successor: "we have enough time. If you look at what is available on the market in the short term of sports directors who have had success in the past and fit our club, you will find that it is overwhelming."
"Unfortunate cadre structure"
In cooperation with new coach steffen baumgart, jakob is powerfully challenged. Although the colony’s revenues remain at bundesliga level, they still have to make savings. According to the board of management, the goal is a transfer lottery ticket worth more than 20 million euros. In addition, it is still very quiet on the transfer market due to corona. "We have an unfortunate squad structure, are in front of the crystal ball and do not know how the summer will go," confessed jakobs.
Players like sebastiaan bornauw, ondrej duda or ellyes skhiri are for sale. As zugange are dejan ljubicic (23, rapid vienna), goalkeeper marvin schwabe (26, brondby) and defender timo hubers (24/hannover) in the talk. In addition, the FC can hope for the return of schalker mark uth. "We have been in close exchange with mark uth’s advisor over the last few weeks. We are relatively far there. The player is definitely interested in joining the 1. FC koln to come," said wehrle.