Jurgen Klinsmann’s acrimonious exit as Hertha Berlin coach, where he slammed the club for “difficult conditions” where he “disagreed on many things,” has potentially cost him a position on the club’s board of directors.
During a press conference on Thursday, club owner Lars Windhorst, president Werner Gegenbauer, and general manager Michael Preetz stated that Klinsmann would not be allowed to transition back into a role on the Hertha Berlin board for the time being, until their differences are settled.
“Unfortunately, I must say that the way Jurgen Klinsmann resigned makes a further working relationship with him on the board of Hertha BSC impossible,” Windhorst said during the press conference. “Unfortunately, the way he left is so unacceptable that we cannot continue a constructive collaboration between him and the other people in charge.
Windhorst said that it would be possible for Klinsmann to return to the club, but not before time for the animosity to dissipate. “If we can count on him and his guidance in some other form in the future after all the dust has settled, we will see,” he said. “I am neither shutting any doors, nor am I knocking anyone out as it has been written today.”
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“I believe he regrets the decision,” Windhorst said of Klinsmann’s resignation. “I’m sorry that we couldn’t fix things to keep hold of him, because even in the short time he was here, we noticed the effect on sponsors, advertising and income that his name had, that it could have led to big financial gains for Hertha.”
“There are different views [between Klinsmann and me] on how the job of a head coach is defined,” Preetz said. “It is correct that we could not agree until he resigned. However, things that I heard yesterday, that I am sitting on the bench and show up on the sideline, were never discussed between the two of us. If there are problems and conflicts then I am used to discussing them and to try and find a solution. You can’t do that if you turn around and run away.”
Klinsmann spent just 79 days in charge of Hertha Berlin, taking charge of nine matches distributed evenly among wins, draws, and losses. A 3-1 home loss to FC Mainz was the final straw.
The former U.S. national team coach took to Facebook to suggest a rift with the club hierarchy as the reason for his resignation. “Things are different in Germany, where everyone gets to have their say, everyone plays a role, the whole management structure,” Klinsmann said, suggesting he had bugs in his ear during his short tenure. “In the end only one can decide, and I feel it has to be the coach. And we disagreed there. Unfortunately we disagreed on many things.”
Klinsmann ruffled feathers during his short stint, demoting goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry upon arrival, which was a bad look given Petry’s critical comments of Jurgen’s son Jonathan during the latter’s stint at Hertha over a decade ago. He botched paperwork for his coaching license and closed training sessions to media and fans, a decision which was labeled a “misunderstanding” and reversed by the club the next day.
The 55-year-old was still expected to return to his position on the board after his departure as coach, a position which he left to take over the coaching role a few months ago. Klinsmann’s relationship with Hertha now seems teetering on the edge, if not entirely destroyed.