Berlin (dpa) – Juergen Klinsmann ended a short spell as coach of Hertha Berlin on Tuesday in a resignation which took the German Bundesliga club by surprise.
News of the resignation first came in a message by Klinsmann on his Facebook page, citing a lack of confidence in him within the club.
The club later confirmed the 55-year-old former Germany international’s decision and said assistant Alexander Nouri had taken over head coaching duties.
“We were surprised by this development in the morning,” Hertha sports director Michael Preetz said in a club statement.
“After the trustful cooperation regarding personnel decisions in what was an intensive winter transfer period for Hertha BSC, there were no signs of this.”
Klinsmann took over coaching duties at Hertha some 11 weeks ago on November 27 until the end of the season after Ante Covic left following a poor start to the Bundesliga season.
Despite an initially positive start under the former Germany and US national team coach, Hertha have drawn and lost their last two Bundesliga games to slip to 14th in the league and have been knocked out of the German Cup. They face bottom club Paderborn away on Saturday.
In his Facebook post, Klinsmann said he did not feel he had full support within the club and therefore “cannot exploit my potential as a coach.”
He said he would return to his original long-term role as a member of the supervisory board.
It was only his second spell as Bundesliga coach, after being in charge at Bayern Munich for part of the 2008-09 season.
During the winter break, Hertha had invested heavily on the transfer market thanks to a financial boost from investor Lars Windhorst.
Some 80 million euros (87 million dollars) was invested in four players: Santiago Ascacibar, Krzysztof Piatek, Matheus Cunha and Lucas Tousart, who remains on loan with Olympique Lyon for six months.
With Klinsmann at the helm and with the financial backing since last summer of German businessman Windhorst, Hertha were targeting longer-term success including qualifying for European competitions.
In an interview with dpa on Monday evening, Klinsmann had promoted the Hertha project and promised the club would avoid relegation.
“We were on a very good path in the relatively short time, and thanks to the support of many people, we are now six points away from the relegation place despite mostly difficult games,” Klinsmann said in his Facebook post.
“I am firmly convinced that Hertha will achieve the goal of staying up.
“As head coach, however, I also need the trust of the people involved for this task….Unity, cohesion and focus on the essentials are the most important elements, especially in the relegation battle.
“If they are not guaranteed, I cannot exploit my potential as a trainer and therefore cannot live up to my responsibility.”
Windhorst meanwhile said he had been informed Monday evening of the decision. “I found out about the decision yesterday. I very much regret this step by Juergen Klinsmann,” he was quoted as saying by Bild daily.