Fred Rutten has been dismissed as coach of FC Schalke 04 after less than a season in charge, with the Dutchman saying: "I am sorry it has to end like this."
'A great club'
Josef Schnusenberg, chairman of the Schalke board, informed Rutten of the German club's decision on Thursday "in a very objective, but sometimes emotional conversation". A trio of former players who were members of the Dutchman's coaching staff – Mike Büskens, Youri Mulder and Oliver Reck – have been placed in temporary command, with the 46-year-old Rutten saying: "I am sorry it has to end like this. Schalke are a great club with huge potential and great fans all across the country who live for this team."
Rutten left FC Twente to take charge of the Gelsenkirchen side in the summer, signing a two-year contract, but failed to get the most out of a talented squad. Knocked out of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round by Club Atlético de Madrid, Schalke finished bottom of their UEFA Cup group and were eliminated from the German Cup by second division 1. FSV Mainz 05. Their Bundesliga campaign has proved similarly frustrating. Schalke lie eighth in the table, having shown little improvement since the departure of sporting director Andreas Müller in February.
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