Leaving early, football coaches triggering a new trend in Germany


By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, April 27 (Xinhua) — A growing number of football coaches in Germany are using exit clauses to change clubs while still under contract.

The cases of Hansi Flick (Bayern), Julian Nagelsmann (RB Leipzig), Adi Hutter (Frankfurt), and Marco Rose (Monchengladbach) are good example of the new trend in German football.

“We can see a clear trend that seems unstoppable. Taking the next step in one’s career no longer only applies to players,” says Lutz Hangartner, president of the union of German football coaches. Leaving early isn’t a no-go anymore.

While some complain about the decreasing impact of contracts and the vanishing reliability of working relationships, others see coaches as merely catching up on football’s usual procedures.

Bayern coach Flick might be an example of the growing importance of having the right coach at the right time and stands for the increasing independence of coaches.

Despite being in charge of one of Germany’s leading clubs, Flick demanded more influence over transfers and decided to leave after complaining about being under-appreciated.

Flick is expected to follow Joachim Low as German national team coach, while 33-year-old Nagelsmann has signed a five-year contract to replace him at Bayern.

Coaches such as former Bayern helmsman Felix Magath are talking about rigid procedures in use over decades. Previously, had to simply wait for their dismissal in case of failure.

The average lifespan of coaches working for a particular club has also decreased.

Cases such as that of former Freiburg manager Volker Finke seem a thing of the past. Between 1991 and 2007, the 73-year-old sat on Freiburg’s bench for 16 years. Currently, Freiburg coach Christian Streich (since 2012) is the longest-serving Bundesliga coach and is very much an exception.

Borussia Monchengladbach is paying 7.5 million euros to get Hutter at the end of the season. Dortmund has invested 5 million euros for Rose. The Nagelsmann deal, worth up to 25 million euros, stands for a new dimension both in Germany and international markets.

Both clubs on Tuesday officially confirmed the deal. The hole left by Flick has been filled.

In 2011, Andre Villas-Boas joined Chelsea from Porto for 15 million euros. In 2010, reports spoke of Real Madrid having paid 16 million euros to prise Jose Mourinho away from Inter.

Some see the transfer fee as a burden; others regard the enormous sum as an advantage as it proves the coach’s importance.

Due to the effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with games behind closed doors, Bayern president Herbert Hainer spoke about losses of up to 150 million. Therefore, the Bavarians announced to skip plans of further expensive transfers of players after the Nagelsmann investment.

Several weeks ago, Bayern announced the signing of Leipzig defender and French international Dayot Upamecano for 42.5 million euros – using an exit clause. Enditem


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