Bayern Munich have parted company with Niko Kovac after 18 months in charge. A statement said the decision was by mutual agreement, with the Bundesliga champions, who were beaten 5-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Kovac, a former Bayern midfielder, led the side to the league-and-cup double last season, becoming the first man to achieve the feat at the club as a player and manager.
Things have turned sour this season, with the team having failed to win half of their opening 10 league fixtures.
The assistant coach, Hans-Dieter Flick, has been placed in temporary charge for Wednesday’s Champions League match against Olympiakos and next Saturday’s Bundesliga meeting with Borussia Dortmund.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern chief executive, said: “The performance of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown us that there was need for action. [President] Uli Hoeness, [sporting director] Hasan Salihamidzic and I had 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 Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, especially for winning the double this past season.”
Bayern are four points behind the Bundesliga leaders, Borussia Mönchengladbach, with five wins and 18 points from 10 matches.
Kovac on Bayern’s official site after his departure said, “I think this is the right decision for the club at the moment,” Kovac said on the club’s official website. “The results, and also the way we last played, made me come to that decision.
My brother [and assistant] Robert and I thank Bayern for the last one and a half years. During this time our team has won the championship, the DFB Cup and the Super Cup. It was a good time. I wish the club and the team all the best.”
Bayern would welcome Dortmund to the Allianz Arena this Saturday evening.