After three straight defeats in the Bundesliga, culminating in a 6-2 rout at Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen have dismissed coach Roger Schmidt. The club will announce his successor very soon.
Bayer Leverkusen started the season aiming to qualify for the Champions League for a fifth consecutive time, but have failed to meet expectations in the league. The 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 23 left the club marooned in mid-table and thirteen points adrift of their opponents in a direct Champions League spot.
"After detailed analysis and discussions, we reached the conclusion that in view of the current sporting trend, parting company [with Schmidt] would be painful but necessary for the further development of Bayer 04 to enable us to achieve our aims," said Leverkusen CEO Michael Schade.
Schmidt took charge in Leverkusen in 2014 and steered the club to Champions League football in each of his two-and-a-half seasons. However, Bayer have lost their last three games in the Bundesliga, conceding twelve goals in the process.
In the Champions League, Schmidt guided the team to the last-16. The quarterfinals are already almost out of reach though, following a 4-2 home defeat to Atletico Madrid in the first leg.
The 49-year-old Schmidt had a contract until 2019 and received numerous votes of confidence from sporting director Rudi Völler in recent weeks. Schmidt's sacking marks the ninth change of coach in the Bundesliga this season.