Hamburg have parted ways with both the club's chairman, Heribert Bruchhagen, and sporting director Jens Todt. The move comes with the club looking almost certain to be relegated for the first time in its history.
In its statement announcing the changes, Hamburg described the moves as a "reorientation" of the Bundesliga club.
The statement, issued on Thursday morning, said that the chairman, Heribert Bruchhagen (pictured above, left), had been relieved of his duties with immediate effect and that sporting director Jens Todt (above, right) had also been let go.
It said that Bernd Hoffmann, who was elected president of the club and became head of the supervisory board just over a month ago, had informed Bruchhagen of the decision on Thursday morning.
Moving in a new direction
"We have decided to take this measure following comprehensive analysis of the overall situation, and will now focus on a reorientation (of the club)," Hoffmann said. He also thanked Bruchhagen for his efforts over his 14 months at the club.
Bruchhagen's duties have been assumed by board member Frank Wettstein, who shortly after taking over, informed Todt of the decision to part ways with him as well. The sporting director's duties are to be shared throughout his former department.
Delivering on an election pledge
The moves come as little surprise, as Hoffmann was elected last month with a promise to take the club in a different direction. And the results this season show that changes are needed at the only original Bundesliga member never to have been relegated to the second division.
The sacking of coach Markus Gisdol, who was replaced by former defender Bernd Hollerbach in January, has failed to have the desired effect and Hamburg now sit in second-last place in the standings. With nine matches to play they are seven points shy of 16th, which would give them the opportunity to save themselves through the post-season relegation playoff between the third worst in the Bundesliga and the third best in the second division.
Hamburg travel to the Bavarian capital on Saturday, where they are to face title holders Bayern Munich, who have opened up a 20-point lead over second placed Dortmund.