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Fredi Bobic has to go – Hertha BSC in crisis

Sport managing director Fredi Bobic is fired at Hertha BSC shortly after the lost Berlin Bundesliga derby against FC Union. The club has been reeling for years and botched one fresh start after the other.

Managing Director Fredi Bobic from Hertha BSC bites his lower lip
End of a short and unsuccessful era: Fredi Bobic is no longer managing director at Hertha BSC

“The points didn’t come. It’s very bitter and disappointing,” said Sandro Schwarz, coach of Hertha BSC, after the Berlin derby against 1. FC Union. The Unioners, who outstripped the “old lady” Hertha as number one in the capital in recent years, also deservedly prevailed 2-0 (1-0) on the 18th Bundesliga matchday in the Berlin Olympic Stadium and revealed once again the glaring weaknesses of the city rivals.

If Schwarz hadn’t received another job guarantee from sporting director Fredi Bobic before kick-off, it wouldn’t have been surprising if he had already conducted the interviews after the game as a former Hertha coach. And even so, it doesn’t look like Black will still be employed at Hertha at the end of the season. The previous performances were too weak, and Berlin’s demands are too high despite the ongoing sporting misery. In addition, the club surprisingly announced the separation of Schwarz’s advocate Bobic less than three hours after the defeat.

Unser Präsidium hat gemeinsam mit dem Aufsichtsrat des Hertha BSC e.V. einstimmig entschieden, seinen Geschäftsführer Sport, @FrediBobic1971, mit sofortiger Wirkung von seinen Aufgaben zu entbinden. ⬅️ #HaHoHe — Hertha BSC (@HerthaBSC) January 28, 2023

Bobic was the “administrator” of the sporting descent or the persistence in the bottom of the valley, even if the former national player and European champion of 1996 was not responsible for the beginnings of Berlin’s decline. Since 2019, the club in the capital has been in a downward spiral of financial mismanagement, poor transfer policy, and a lack of a sporting concept. Hertha was supposed to start into a better future three years ago: Before the season, Lars Windhorst joined the Berliners as an investor with several million euros. His plan: was to make Hertha the “Big City Club” , which should permanently establish itself in the top flight of the Bundesliga and consequently also become a permanent guest in the European Cup. But nothing came of it.

Hertha BSC: no consistency, no success

Average players were signed for large sums, the coaches changed constantly. The commitment of Jürgen Klinsmann, who had previously been appointed to the Supervisory Board as Windhorst’s representative, was memorable and momentous. Klinsmann ultimately only stayed in office for 76 days, but during this time he advocated and encouraged expensive transfers of players, which cost a lot of money but brought little sporting success. Bizarrely and without warning, Klinsmann finally resigned with a message on Facebook, leaving a shambles.

Not a success story: the commitment of former budget trainer Klinsmann in Berlin

Sandro Schwarz has been the sixth head coach to sit on the Hertha bench since Klinsmann left on February 11, 2020. For Bobic, who was hired as the new sports director and successor to Michael Preetz for the 2021/2022 season, Schwarz was the fourth coach of his tenure – even Felix Magath, who had actually been in football retirement for years, was hired as a rescuer in between.

Black’s commitment did not bring any new sporting impetus. “My team should be very active and courageous going forward and well-structured against the ball. Off the field it’s about appearing very united,” Schwarz said as a goal when he took office. Almost none of that is at the current Table 17. arrived.

Hertha and Lars Windhorst: End in dispute

It also looks bleak financially: the Windhorst millions, a total of 374, have long been used up. “The money is gone,” Bobic had to admit in February 2022. Windhorst is now about to finally say goodbye to the Berliners after the scandal between the club and the investor last year. The trigger was researched by the “Financial Times”, according to which Windhorst is said to have commissioned an Israeli business detective agency to oust the former club president Werner Gegenbauer from his post with a targeted campaign. Windhorst denied it, Hertha asked him for a written statement and turned on the lawyers.

His investment at Hertha BSC bore no fruit: Lars Windhorst

In October 2022, Windhorst finally announced via Facebook that there was neither a basis nor a perspective for successful economic cooperation with Hertha BSC. The new presidency is “clearly not interested in trusting and serious cooperation,” wrote Windhorst. Windhorst has found a buyer for his shares in 777 Partners, an investment company from the USA that already holds shares in FC Sevilla, CFC Genoa, and Standard Liège.

Failed Berlin derby does not make Hertha more attractive 

However, the takeover is not yet sealed. Hertha needs financial help to buy new players, but also to absorb losses. “It’s a matter of weeks and not months until everything is signed,” club president Kay Bernstein recently announced in the “Hertha Base” podcast. “Windhorst agrees with the sale of the shares with 777. And we are on the home stretch with 777 to also agree there.” But now of all times, when it would be important to also appear sporty and attractive, the team in the Bundesliga is showing its worst side. Especially with a win in the derby against Union and correspondingly euphoric fans, one could have done self-promotion.

Disillusionment with Sandro Schwarz and his players after the derby against Union

The derby comes “just at the right time”. There is a “huge chance to turn the mood around,” said trainer Schwarz in advance. As is well known, things turned out differently. It was the fourth derby defeat in a row and the third bankruptcy in the Bundesliga in a row. And the next tasks in the league give little hope. With Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Mönchengladbach, and Borussia Dortmund, three tough opponents await in the next three weeks.

You don’t have to be a great prophet to predict that the Berliners will probably remain in the relegation battle until the end of the season. Should Hertha actually get down in the end, that would be the worst-case scenario. But even if the rescue succeeds again, a new start will be necessary after the season – the umpteenth time in the recent past.

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