In the midst of a relegation battle and without a win in nine matches, Cologne have parted ways with sporting director Jörg Schmadtke by mutual agreement. His contract was set to run until 2023.
Cologne have parted ways with sporting director Jörg Schmadtke by mutual consent, the Bundesliga club confirmed on Monday.
The decision was made after another disappointing display - namely Sunday's goalless home draw against fellow strugglers Werder Bremen - left the club rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table.
"Intensive talks" were said to have taken place behind closed doors, during which both Schamdtke and the club expressed dissatisfaction over the direction the club was taking. Ultimately, the decision was made to sever ties. Cologne thanked Schmadtke for his efforts over the previous four years.
"Jörg Schmadtke has done a very good job for Cologne," the club's president, Werner Spinner, said in a statement. "He led us back into the Bundesliga and played a big role in our return to European competition after a 25-year absence. We're very grateful to him for that and he deserves credit. We wish him and his family all the best for the future."
Schamdtke's contract was set to run until 2023; a series of successful seasons saw them finish in fifth place in the 2016-17 campaign, qualifying for European football in the process. This season has been a different story, however, with the club failing to replace the goals of former striker Anthony Modeste.
Schmadtke thanked the club for the "full backing" he had received during his spell at the club.
Head coach Peter Stöger remains in place as Cologne face Hertha Berlin in the second round of the German Cup on Wednesday evening.