Daum Backflips on Cologne Offer | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.11.2006
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Daum Backflips on Cologne Offer

Christoph Daum has agreed to be the new coach of German second division side FC Cologne, after initially turning down the offer as he recovered from a throat operation.

Cologne soccer fans hold a banner reading Daum is Back at a match against 1860 Munich

After rejecting FC Cologne's offer due to health reasons, Daum changed his mind

Daum, who will have his first day of work during an open training on Monday, changed his mind and signed a contra#ct until June 2010 just days after ruling himself out of the job.

Former Bayer Leverkusen manager Reiner Calmund, who hired Daum at Leverkusen in 1996, told Die Welt daily that it had not been an easy decision for the 53-year-old trainer, who coached Cologne between 1986 and 1990.

Hopes for future

"I'm looking forward to this challenge," Daum told the Kolner Express newspaper. "Cologne has huge potential. We have a tough challenge ahead of us. I can say one thing for certain: When I do something, I do it right."

Daum is a controversial figure in German soccer, having ruled himself out of the running for the national team job six years ago, after admitting to taking cocaine.

Christoph Daum, Fußball

Daum's drug problems cause trouble at his other jobs

However his record as a coach is impressive. He won the German title with Stuttgart in 1992 and three Turkish league titles, with Besiktas in 1995 and Fenerbahce in 2004 and 2005.

Three-time Bundesliga champions Cologne are languishing in 10th position in the second division after starting the season as promotion favorites. The club recently parted company with Swiss coach Hanspeter Latour.

Daum return a "blessing" for Cologne

Daum's decision to return to coaching in Germany with second-division Cologne has been welcomed by Franz Beckenbauer.

The German soccer great, in his column for the mass-market Bild newspaper, said Daum was "a blessing" for Cologne.

"Enough has been said and written about his mistakes," Beckenbauer wrote. "He lost his dream job as national team coach -- after six years it's enough of that old business."

Daum to take helm Monday

Christoph Daum gibt Pressekonferenz in Köln

Daum was criticized for taking drugs, but now that is "old business"

Cologne finally secured Daum's signature on a four-year contract after the club's challenge for promotion back to the Bundesliga took a dent with a 2-1 loss to 1860 Munich.

"We are convinced that this is the optimal solution for us," said Cologne club manager Michael Meier, who also revealed that Daum came back to the club to with his change of heart.

Daum replaces Latour, who was dismissed after an extended string of poor results.

The German club is said to have offered Daum 2.5 million euros ($3.2 million) annually.

The club further reportedly pledged financial backing in the high two-digit millions for the signing of new players to get the team promoted and back into European competition.

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