The 1. FC Cologne remains first class, but in the future without sports director Horst Heldt. The club has now officially announced this. One day after the 5-1 success against Holstein Kiel in the relegation second leg and the associated relegation, the club is now starting to come to terms with a disappointing season.
1. FC Köln dismisses Heldt, succession unclear
“We know how much he has our club in his heart – so the step was not easy for us. But we cannot be satisfied with the composition of the squad and the sporting development in the past season,” said Werner Wolf, President of the 1. FC Köln, quoted in the club’s announcement.
FC keeper Thomas Kessler, supervisory board member Jörg Jakobs and licensed player manager Lukas Berg will take over the responsibilities of Heldt on an interim basis.
Heldt was a year and a half at 1. FC Köln
Heldt took over the post from Armin Veh in November 2019 and initially got a contract until June 30, 2021. Last summer, after initial successes, the club extended the contract for two more years. During this season, the Rhinelander suffered a sporting crash, which almost ended with relegation.
The sports director had difficult conditions on the transfer market in the summer because his hands were financially tied. However, the ex-professional is accused of two cardinal errors. On the one hand, the (too) long holding on to coach Markus Gisdol, who didn’t have to leave until mid-April. On the other hand, the fact that FC didn’t have a single trained striker at their disposal during the season.
Heldt brought rescuer Funkel (almost) too late
Heldt had given up Jhon Cordoba, Simon Terodde and Anthony Modeste one after the other. For this he brought in Sebastian Andersson, who was in permanent trouble, Tolu Arokodare, who was apparently unfit for the Bundesliga, and Emmanuel Dennis, who was apparently never integrated due to a lack of attitude. Andersson scored two important goals in the 5-1 relegation second leg in Kiel.
In addition, Heldt ultimately installed the savior in Friedhelm Funkel. Under the 67-year-old, the FC spanked Werder Bremen on the relegation place, where the Cologne finally prevailed against Kiel.