VfB Stuttgart today dismissed their commercial manager, Rolf Rüssmann.
The 52-year-old commercial manager was dismissed after a meeting with the chairman of the club's supervisory board, Dieter Hundt. He had joined the club in February 2001 with a brief of bringing success to Stuttgart while resolving some of the club's financial worries.
"The mutual trust between the the board of directors, the players and the sponsors on the one side and Rüssmann on the other side has been disturbed, and it is no longer in the interest of the club to carry on," said Hundt.
Rüssmann, like many commercial managers in the 1. Bundesliga, was formerly a successful player. He won the German Cup with FC Schalke 04 in 1972, and won 20 caps while playing for BV Borussia Dortmund.
UEFA Cup challenge
Stuttgart, four-times German champions, progressed to the fourth round of this season's UEFA Cup by beating Club Brugge KV last week, having qualified through the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
They face Scottish champions Celtic FC in the fourth round of the competition, and for the time being, Rüssmann's role will be shared by two people, with the sporting and tactical areas being handled by Felix Magath while a member of the board of directors, Ulrich Ruf, takes charge of contractual negotiations.
The commercial manager is widely regarded as the second most important person at a German club after the coach, his responsibilities including hiring new players and negotiating new contracts.
With most commercial managers having had some experience as Bundesliga players, they are popular and well-respected figures in German football and the likes of FC Bayern München's Uli Hoeness, Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Reiner Calmund and Hertha BSC Berlin's Dieter Hoeness are high-profile personalities.
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