Kovac dismissed after embarrassing five-goal defeat in Frankfurt

German giants Bayern Munich fired head coach Niko Kovac following a crushing defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Kovac dismissed after embarrassing five-goal defeat in Frankfurt

Bayern Munich chose to part company with coach Niko Kovac on Sunday, one day after the seven-time defending German champion slumped to its heaviest Bundesliga defeat in more than 10 years.

It was the second defeat in ten league games this season and the Croatian leaves with Bayern fourth in the table, four points behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

Kovac had been in charge since July 2018 and led Bayern to the domestic double last season. He won 45 of his 65 games in charge of Bayern, but Saturday’s defeat was the club’s heaviest in the Bundesliga in 10 years.

A statement from the club said the decision had come as a “result of a mutual discussion with Niko Kovac on Sunday.”

Former great, now Chief Executive Officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, said: “The performances of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown us that there was a need for action.

“We had an open and serious discussion with Niko this Sunday based on that and came to the mutual decision that Niko is no longer head coach of FC Bayern.

“We all regret this development. I would like to thank Niko Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, particularly for last season’s double win.”

The 48-year-old Kovac had been in charge since the beginning of last season when he led Bayern to a German cup and league double.

Kovac was also quoted in the statement as saying he thought it “was the correct decision for the club at this time”. The statement noted that Kovac had offered to resign.

Kovac stated, “The results and the way we’ve played lately have led me to this decision.

“My brother Robert and I would like to thank FC Bayern for these past 18 months. During that time our team won the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup, and the Supercup. It was a good time. I wish the club and the team all the very best.”

"It's not a huge surprise what happened," Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said of the defeat in Frankfurt. "It's just not happening. Something has to change."

While Robert Lewandowski proved a reliable goal-scorer, the rest of the team lacked balance and Kovac's problems were made worse by serious injuries to defenders Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernández. Jérôme Boateng will be suspended for the game against Dortmund following his early red card in Frankfurt.

Bayern is four points behind leader Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga.

Assistant coach Hansi Flick will take charge of Bayern in the Champions League against Olympiakos this Wednesday and the crucial Bundesliga fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.