Cologne part ways with sporting director Finke | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 11.03.2012
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Cologne part ways with sporting director Finke

German Bundesliga side Cologne and director of sport Volker Finke have decided to go their separate ways. The reason, although not fully explained, relates to a disagreement about the club's direction.

Bundesliga side Cologne parted company with director of sport Volker Finke on Saturday, hours after the club's 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin.

In an announcement on its website, the soccer club said Finke was leaving with immediate effect after discussions with shareholders' representatives. The split related to the "future direction of the club," the statement read.

"There have been several discussions between representatives of Cologne's shareholders and Volker Finke about selections on the field," said Cologne chairman Werner Wolf.

Volker Finke

Finke had frank talks with shareholders before the development

"Due to differences of opinion, both sides have agreed to separate with immediate effect."

A more detailed explanation for the apparently mutual decision was due to be given on Sunday morning.

The development comes amid reports that the relationship between Finke, who has been in post for the past year, and club coach Stale Solbakken has become increasingly strained.

Perhaps the biggest controversy surrounding the club of late has been the possible move of star striker Lukas Podolski to English football giants Arsenal. There have also been persistent rumors that Finke, who managed Freiburg for 16 years, had ambitions in the medium-term for a return to coaching.

Earlier in the day, Norwegian Solbakken led his team to its first win in five games, against Hertha Berlin, leaving Cologne in 13th place.

Podolski received a straight red card in the match on 76 minutes after a clash with Hertha defender Levan Kobiashvili, a melee in which several other players were also involved.

rc/msh (AFP, AP, dpa)