At the very end and in a small group, the question of a third farewell arose, which was less due to a desire for sensation than the surprising resignations of President Klaus Hofmann and coach Markus Weinzierl. The question was directed at Stefan Reuter and it was about how safe it was that he would still be manager of FC Augsburg after the summer break. “You can assume that,” Reuter replied succinctly. He let it be. Except for the fact that he smiled confidently into the silence.
Shortly after the final whistle, the final game of the season had finally been made irrelevant. Hardly anyone was still interested in the 2: 1 of the previously saved Augsburg against SpVgg Greuther Fürth, who had long ago been relegated. Instead, it was almost exclusively about the next breaking news that the FCA had sent out. Or better: from his former coach. Because Weinzierl first revealed to his players and then to the equally astonished TV audience that it was his last match as Augsburg coach.
This is not the first time that Reuter has been accused of poor communication
“The foundation of a future is missing here,” Weinzierl said, surprising his unsuspecting superior Reuter. “He will notice it now,” added Weinzierl, who said a lot about his relationship with Reuter. Weinzierl saw it as a “clear sign” of a lack of confidence that his expiring contract had not yet been discussed after he returned to the FCA in April 2021. “And that’s why he has it in writing now,” Weinzierl said in the direction of Reuter. It sounded a bit kind, but above all, his criticism of the lack of communication in his opinion could hardly have been clearer.
This is not the first time that Reuter, who has been with the FCA since the end of 2012, faces such accusations. It had also crashed with Weinzierl before, at the end of his first period between 2012 and 2016. At the time, however, because the coach had promised FC Schalke. That Weinzierl became FCA coach again about 13 months ago was largely due to President Hofmann.
Reuter now told that a conversation about Weinzierl’s future after the season had been agreed, which he would like to have this week. At the same time, his skepticism about the coach. “I think the squad is really good and that we could have had a much stronger season,” Reuter said. For him, the reprocessing will now include Weinzierl’s sudden farewell, and a search with an immediate effect coach is also being sought.
The association will also deal with the contexts of the chain reaction. About 24 hours before Weinzierl’s departure, FC Augsburg had announced Hofmann’s resignation from all his offices. According to all that can be heard, the club president and CEO of the professional department, ie the central figure in the FCA, who has been in office since 2014, should not have retired just because of “health problems”, as it officially is. said. Here, too, there are recurring differences with Reuter. Hofmann Reuter is said to have spoken several times before. Now the impulsive Hofmann apparently preferred to retire, out of self-protection. Weinzierl made his decision immediately after Hofmann’s resignation. For the coach, the supportive “pillar” that always supported him was broken away.
What happened in Augsburg is something in the direction of Hainer, Kahn and Nagelsmann leaving FC Bayern
A comparison with Augsburg’s neighbors, FC Bayern, helps to understand the personal details and strength of the dismissals. What has just happened in the FCA is more or less as if the champions of Munich first resigned from President Herbert Hainer and Chairman of the Board Oliver Kahn at the same time and the day after coach Julian Nagelsmann. Left was a rather alone sports director Hasan Salihamidzic (he would still be supported by his board colleague, financial expert Jan-Christian Dreesen).
In the case of FC Augsburg, the threads now merge with CEOs Reuter (sports) and Michael Ströll (finance). They also have a man named Thomas Müller of the FCA who works here as chairman of the board. This is a key difference in Augsburg’s organizational plan compared to Munich’s: At FC Bayern, the president is also chairman of the board. Hofmann, on the other hand, was not allowed to hold that position – as President and CEO – in Augsburg, especially since he owns shares in Investors GmbH, which owns 99.4 percent of the shares in FC Augsburg GmbH und Co. KGaA, i.e. in the professional department. The largest share in this investor GmbH lies with the American billionaire David Blitzer’s Bolt Football Holdings (45 percent).
Hofmann recently stated that he would never sell his own shares of 30.56 percent. So far, it has not been announced that his resignation could change anything. Yet they have to reposition themselves almost completely in Augsburg.