Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Hertha Berlin manager Jurgen Klinsmann walks on the pitch before a match against Schalke 04 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Feb. 4, 2020.

Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

Jurgen Klinsmann surprisingly resigned as coach of Hertha Berlin on Tuesday after only nine Bundesliga games.

The former Germany and United States coach said in a statement on Facebook that he “cannot live up to my potential as coach and therefore cannot live up to my responsibility” without the trust from people at the club.

“That’s why, after long thought, I came to the conclusion to make my position as coach of Hertha available and return to my original long-term task as a supervisory board member,” Klinsmann wrote.

Story continues below advertisement

Much was expected of Klinsmann when he was appointed coach on Nov. 27, helped by an extensive backroom staff. He was supposed to deliver on the promise provided by a US$250-million investment from new backer Lars Windhorst and lead Hertha up the standings toward the European qualification places. But the team is still fighting off relegation.

Klinsmann’s decision to quit caught Hertha by surprise, with the players and general manager Michael Preetz only finding out on Tuesday morning before he made the announcement on Facebook.

“The coach came into the changing room. We thought it would be about the analysis of the last game. And then he told us,” Hertha midfielder Marko Grujic said after training. “We were completely surprised.”

Preetz suggested the decision came as a shock, “especially after the trustful co-operation regarding decisions over personnel in the winter transfer period, there was no sign of it. We will inform of further developments at the appropriate time.”

Assistant coach Alexander Nouri was set to take temporary charge of the team.

Klinsmann later told German mass daily Bild that he wanted a bigger role at Hertha with responsibility for transfers — a job currently carried out by Preetz as general manager.

“In my understanding a coach should bear all responsibility for sporting matters, as per the English model. That gives the position much more power,” Klinsmann said.

Story continues below advertisement

The 55-year-old said stepping down was not a spontaneous decision.

“In the past few days, we received clear reactions and indications that the situation is not getting any better, but worsening,” Klinsmann told Bild.

Hertha was in 15th place in the 18-team Bundesliga when Klinsmann took over from Ante Covic, and is only one place better off now. Hertha managed only three wins in nine league games under Klinsmann, and Saturday’s 3-1 loss at home to Mainz left it just six points above the relegation zone — four days after it was knocked out of the German Cup in extra time at Schalke.

Klinsmann called Hertha a “sleeping giant.” He was consulted on player signings as Hertha made its first splash on the transfer market after Windhorst’s investment. Hertha signed Matheus Cunha from Leipzig, Krzysztof Piatek from AC Milan, Santiago Ascacibar from Stuttgart and Lucas Tousart from Lyon, as its transfer spending in January reached an estimated €76-million (US$83-million).

Windhorst, who had brought Klinsmann to the club, had been given advance warning.

“I learned of the decision yesterday,” Windhorst said. “I very much regret this step from Jurgen Klinsmann.”

Story continues below advertisement

Klinsmann had a long association with Hertha through his father, Siegfried, who was from Eberswalde near Berlin and was a fan, and his son Jonathan, who was a reserve goalkeeper for Hertha from 2017 until last year, when he moved to Swiss club St. Gallen. Siegfried died in 2005.

As a player, Klinsmann enjoyed a glittering career as a prolific striker for clubs in Germany, Italy, France and England. He won the World Cup and European Championship. His coaching career began with Germany in 2004 and he had mixed fortunes coaching Bayern Munich before taking over the U.S. national team.

Klinsmann told news agency dpa on Monday that he was happy working with Windhorst.

“I met him for 10 minutes in a bank ... on the way to Tegel airport. We didn’t know each other at the time,” Klinsmann said. “He told me, `I need you at my side because I don’t know the ropes in football. You tell me if I’m doing right or wrong.' “

Related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies