Augsburg: Two resignations within 24 hours

At the end and in a small group, a third farewell question was asked, which was caused not so much by excitement as by the sudden resignations of president Klaus Hoffmann and coach Markus Weinzerl. The question was directed to Stefan Reuter, and it was about how sure he will remain as FC Augsburg manager after the summer break. “You can assume that,” Reuter replied succinctly. I left it at that. Except for the fact that he smiled confidently in silence.

Soon after the final whistle, the last game of the season became irrelevant. Hardly anyone was still interested in the 2:1 Augsburg previously saved against SpVgg Greuther Fürth, who had long since relegated. Instead, it was almost all about the following breaking news that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) sent out. Or better: from his former coach. Because Winzierl first revealed to his players and then to the stunned TV audience that this was his last match as Augsburg coach.

This is not the first time that Reuter has been accused of poor communication

“The basis for the future is missing here,” Winzierle said to the surprise of his reassuring boss Reuter. “Now he’s going to notice,” added Winzierl, who has said a lot about his relationship with Router. Weinzierl saw this as a “clear sign” of mistrust that his expiring contract was not yet discussed following his return to the FCA in April 2021. “And that’s why he’s writing it now,” Weinzierl told Reuters. This sounded a little terse, but above all, his criticism of the lack of communication, in his opinion, was more stark.

This is not the first time Reuter, who has been with the FCA since the end of 2012, has faced such allegations. She’d also crashed with Winzierl before, at the end of his first spell between 2012 and 2016. At the time, though, because the coach had promised Schalke 04. The fact that Weinzerl became an FCA coach again about 13 months ago was largely due to President Hoffmann.

Klaus Hoffmann resigned as president of FC Augsburg before Marcus Weinzerl. He recently announced that he would never sell his 30.56 percent stake.

(Photo: Christian Colbert/Ecolbert Press/Imago)

Reuter has now reported that a conversation about Winzerl’s post-season future has been agreed upon, which he wanted this week to be. At the same time, he seemed suspicious of the coach. “I think the team is really good and we could have had a much stronger season,” Reuter said. For him, work will now include Weinzierl’s sudden farewell, and there is also a search for a coach with immediate effect.

The association will also handle chain reaction communications. About 24 hours before Weinzerl’s departure, the Augsburg club announced Hoffmann’s resignation from all his positions. According to all that can be heard, the club’s president and general manager of professional management, that is, the central figure of the FCA, who has been in office since 2014, should not retire solely due to “health problems”, as it is officially said. Here, too, there is talk of recurring disagreements with Reuter. Hoffman Reuter is said to have counted several times in the past. Now an impulsive Hoffman seems to have preferred to opt out of self-protection. Weinzerl made his decision immediately after Hoffmann’s resignation. For the coach, the supporting “pillar” that had always supported him was shattered.

What happened in Augsburg is something like the departure of Heiner, Kahn and Nagelsmann from Bayern Munich

A comparison with Augsburg’s neighbors helps Bayern Munich to understand the personal details and the strength of the resignations. What just happened in the FCA almost looks as if the Munich champion first gave up President Herbert Hainer and Chairman Oliver Kahn at the same time and the next day coach Julian Nagelsmann. What remains is Hasan Salihamidzic as the sole sporting director (he will continue to be backed by his fellow board member, financial expert Jan Christian Driesen).

In the case of FC Augsburg, the leads are now coming in with managing directors Reuter (sports) and Michael Stroll (finance). They also have a guy by the name of Thomas Müller at the FCA, who works here as the chair of the supervisory board. This is a major difference in the organizational structure of Augsburg compared to Munich: at Bayern Munich, the president is also the head of the supervisory board. On the other hand, Hoffmann was not allowed to hold this position – as president and general manager – in Augsburg, especially because he owns parts of Investors GmbH, which owns 99.4 percent of the shares in FC Augsburg GmbH und Co. KGaA, i.e. in the professional department. The largest stake in this investor GmbH is located in the company Bolt Football Holdings of the American billionaire David Blitzer (45 percent).

Hoffman recently announced that he would never sell his 30.56 percent of shares. So far, it has not been announced that his resignation could change anything. But nevertheless, they have to almost completely restore their position in Augsburg.

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