Bayern Munich part ways with Niko Kovac

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Niko Kovac is no longer at the helm of Bayern Munich.

The German club announced on Sunday that it has parted ways with the Croatian a day after the defending champions suffered a humbling 5-1 loss to his former club, Eintracht Frankfurt, on Saturday.

The 48-year-old called his players in for training at Sabener Strasse on Sunday, but was dismissed of his duties by the club’s board shortly after.

A statement released by the club followed:

“The performance of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown us that there was need for action,” Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. “Uli Hoeness, Hasan Salihamidžić and I have had an open and serious conversation with Niko on this basis on Sunday, with the consensual result that Niko is no longer coach of FC Bayern.”

“We all regret this development,” he added. “I would like to thank Niko Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, especially for winning the Doubles last season.”

Kovac, 48, had been in charge since July 2018 and led Bayern to a league-and-cup double last season. In 65 matches in charge of the club, the former midfielder lost only 20, although Saturday’s loss was Bayern’s worst in the Bundesliga in 10 years.

“I think this is the right decision for the club at the moment,” Kovac said in the statement. “The results, and also the way we last played, made me come to that decision.”

“My brother Robert and I thank Bayern for the last one and a half years,” he added. “During this time, our team has won the championship, the DFB Cup and the Supercup. It was a good time. I wish the club and the team all the best.”

The Croatian leaves Bayern, who have only lost two games in 10 league matches, fourth in the table, four points of adrift of league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

Kovac’s assistant, Hansi Flick, is set to take over as interim manager.