Hamburg have appointed their fourth head coach of the season - and it is not Thomas Tuchel. Bruno Labbadia has signed a 15 month deal, with Peter Knäbel returning to his previous role of director of football.
Struggling Bundesliga giants Hamburg have appointed Bruno Labbadia as head coach. The 49-year-old has signed a 15 month contract that starts immediately and doesn't include a relegation clause. Labbadia will work with his assistant coach Eddy Sözer after former assistant coach Peter Hermann decided to end his contract at the club.
"I expect full commitment and passion from everyone in the next few weeks. We've got to get results quickly," said Labbadia on Wednesday morning, before he met the team. Labbadia also said he was sad not to work with the departing Hermann, but respected his decision.
The appointment is a surprising one as former Mainz boss Thomas Tuchel had long been touted as favorite to take over at the side currently bottom of the Bundesliga. "We had talks but couldn't reach an agreement so we decided to end negotiations," said Chairman Dietmar Beiersdorfer.
"We made this decision because we feel the head coach decision is the most important one. With Bruno Labbadia we have a strong coach who is experienced in the fight against relegation," said Beiersdorfer.
"We wanted absolute clarity in the appointment with our head coach, and that's what we have now," added Knäbel.
Labbadia is a former Hamburg player and coach. The striker played two seasons for the north German club during a playing a career that included spells at Bayern Munich, Kaiserslautern and Cologne. As a coach, Labbadia took over at HSV from Martin Jol in the 2009/10 but was sacked three games before the end of the season. Labbadia was last employed at Stuttgart and despite taking them to the 2012/13 German Cup final, Labbadia was fired after a poor start to the following campaign.