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Sports

Football chief Allofs quits Bremen for post at Wolfsburg

Top football executive Klaus Allofs has parted company with long-term club Werden Bremen to take over at the struggling Wolfsburg. He takes over as sports director, but the Wolves' coaching position remains open.

Manager Klaus Allofs of Bremen

Klaus Allofs

Bremen chairman Allofs had opted to leave his current post to take up a similar role at Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg, officials said on Wednesday.

Although a momentous defection - Aloffs being Bremen's long-serving management executive - the move had been widely anticipated after Wolfsburg coach and sports director Felix Magath was sacked late last month.

"We have reached a good agreement with Werder Bremen," Wolfsburg board member Stephan Gruehsem told the German news magazine "Kicker" on Wednesday.

The appointment was confirmed by officials from Bremen, with a press conference planned by Wolfsburg later in the day.

A former German national team player, the 55-year-old Allofs had held a management position at Werder for the last 13 years and had risen to the top position, becoming chairman of the management board.

Wolfsburg officials are eager to revive the flagging fortunes of the 2009 Bundesliga champions. Magath - who had held both the coach position and that of sporting director - was fired after a disastrous start to the season that put the club at the bottom of the Bundesliga.

Wolfsburg officials have said they plan to keep the two posts separate from now on. Finding a new coach will be top of Allofs' priority list.

Allofs has enjoyed a relatively successful tenure at Bremen, attracting such players as Brazilian star Diego, who now plays for Wolfsburg, and Claudio Pizarro. Both were later sold at significantly higher prices. Since then, however, the club has had to rein in spending after failing to qualify for the Champions League.

Bremen is also the club where Allofs ended his career as a striker, after long spells at Fortuna Düsseldorf and Cologne and three years in France with Olympique Marseille and Girondins Bordeaux.

rc/kms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)