Kaizer Chiefs have confirmed that they have officially parted ways with German coach Ernst Middendorp with immediate effect.
The 61-year-old tactician failed to win the Absa Premiership title, despite leading the title for 28 games, only for Mamelodi Sundowns to snatch the title on the final day of the season.
Recent reports have suggested that Middendorp was set to be sacked by Amakhosi following their 1-1 draw with Baroka FC on Saturday afternoon.
Middendorp took over the helm from Giovanni Solinas back in December 2018 after penning a two-and-a-half year deal, but the club have since terminated his contract, according to Amakhosi chairman Kaizer Motaung.
The Soweto giants released the following statement:
‘After reviews conducted by Kaizer Chiefs Chairman Kaizer Motaung and the club’s management, Amakhosi have decided to part ways with coach Ernst Middendorp with immediate effect.
‘We deliberated and considered many aspects related to the team, including our way of playing, our performances and the results before coming to the decision,’ confirmed Motaung.
‘We truly believed and hoped that our 50th anniversary year would be better, and it indeed looked promising. The decision taken is part of a strategy to have the team win trophies again and to make our supporters happy because they deserve better.’
Middendorp joined Chiefs on 7 December 2018. In his first six months in charge, the German coach took Amakhosi to ninth position on the Absa Premiership table and reached the Nedbank Cup final.
‘After giving the coach and the technical team the ammunition required to compete in the new season,’ Motaung added, ‘there were some improvements, and this was evident during the first seven months of this 2019-20 season.
‘However, when the league restarted post-lockdown, things changed, and we looked a totally different side in our last eight league matches. We witnessed some heart-stopping performances and we were overtaken on the log in the last game of the season, which truly broke our hearts. We have to take responsibility – we can’t wait and allow this situation to continue.’
Chairman Kaizer Motaung thanked Middendorp for his efforts and work:
‘We wish him all the best for the future.
‘We pride ourselves on having built a strong legacy and a culture based on winning,’ the Chairman continues. ‘We are aware that the supporters are hurting, and the outcry is too loud to ignore. It is important for our loyal supporters to know that we feel their pain. We are a listening organisation and we respect their right to express their dissatisfaction with the team’s overall performance.
‘While we are wounded, we need to remember that the key principle of loyalty is showing unity and standing together in solidarity when the going gets tough.’
The squad have been given time off after a gruelling completion of the season and will return before the end of September to start preparing for the 2020-21 season.
‘We will announce the new coach before the team returns for pre-season training,’ Motaung concluded.
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