FC Schalke 04 have dismissed coach Mirko Slomka after a UEFA Champions League exit was followed by Saturday's 5-1 Bundesliga defeat by Werder Bremen.
Article top media content
General manager Andreas Müller said that the club had planned to part company with the 40-year-old coach at the end of the season, but decided to act early after the team slipped from second to third place in the league on Saturday. He said: "We've got into a situation now that could have a very negative impact on the team and endanger our goal of qualifying for the Champions League. That's why we moved quickly now."
Slomka took sole command in January 2006 following a spell as assistant coach. He led Schalke to the 2005/06 UEFA Cup semi-finals and to second place in the Bundesliga last season, while this time around his side reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time, only to lose 1-0 in both legs of their tie against European giants FC Barcelona.
'A good job'
"Mirko did a good job and that's clearly documented by his successful record," said Müller, who also revealed that the Gelsenkirchen club had dismissed Slomka's assistant Nestor El Maestro. "But during this season we got the impression the team wasn't developing further. We came to the conclusion a new coach could do that better." Mike Büskens and Youri Mulder, both part of the Schalke side that won the 1996/97 UEFA Cup, have been put in charge until the end of the season. The 40-year-old Büskens has been coaching Schalke's fourth-division reserve side while Mulder, one year his junior, has been a pundit on Dutch television.