Zeh game. “I’m really looking forward to it,” Jürgen Klinsmann said at the outset. That was at the end of November 2019. Hertha BSC, praised by its protégés as the “Big City Club”, was described by him as the “most exciting football project” in Europe.
Ten weeks later. I do not want more, it was Klinsmann’s tenor. He suddenly gave up. Via Facebook, that’s all, that’s it. The team was surprised, the club management overwhelmed. Only club investor Lars Windhorst, who had followed Klinsmann’s steps from the club’s board to the coaching staff in Berlin, was knowledgeable.
So super meltdown. The Klinsmann protocols became public. SPORT BILD had received Klinsmann’s reports from Hertha’s investor Windhorst. In it he made relentless reckoning with everything and everyone at Hertha. Club management, players, structures, doctors and supervisors – everything was examined, judged and provided with perspective. Or not. The conclusion was that the picture was drawn by a club where a lot was going on in the boardrooms as well as on and off the court.
Klinsmann now commented in detail on those days. At that time, he was to help with “Berlin Adventure”. It was, as he describes it, to think short-term and get Hertha away from the relegation line. Ten weeks and nine games later, then the bang. his resignation. Klinsmann said in the DFB podcast “More than just a game” that he “had to learn so many things” that he felt were “not good. It did not work.” In his opinion, the club was stable again at that time, six points away from the relegation line and therefore, according to Klinsmann, “rather an end with horror than horror without end”.
Hertha protocols with great reverberation
But then the shock came a second time. Looking at the publication of his secret protocols. Klinsmann says he wrote a work report intended for Windhorst and his company. Hertha’s financier, who has pumped a total of 375 million euros into the club over the past three years, asked him to.
Klinsmann said of his resignation via Facebook: “Looking back, I should have communicated it differently. I’m a guy, I get very emotional when the camel’s back almost overflows, so that’s the way it is. So I certainly did not think over certain things in such a way that they could provoke such a violent response as in the situation. “
But the even greater reverberation came from the minutes. A piece of Bundesliga history was written with it. 76 days by Hertha BSC summed up in 22 pages, a dissertation that could basically also be used as accounting and did not put many things at Hertha in a good light.
Read the entire Klinsmann report here
“Of course, it hurt me a lot that the diaries, this work report, ended up being published. This was an internal report that was never intended for the media. But he was honest, “says Klinsmann.
He knows how this publication came to the public: “But it does not change the fact that it was in SPORT PICTURE. In retrospect: Everything that was in there because it was an honest work report was correct. I do not mind “I was just sad that it was spread over weeks and months because it had never happened in this form.”
Football, Klinsmann reflects, is always “a reflection of interpersonal relationships. Do you go together or not? In Berlin, it quickly became clear to me that I was with the people who lead the club (at the time it was primarily manager Michael Preetz and president Werner Gegenbauer, the editorial staff), can not cope. Hence this decision. I would definitely react differently in such a stressful situation in the future. In fact, what I did there was the right thing to do. “
Now the general meeting is at the door
This Sunday, Hertha’s future will be more clearly visible at the general meeting in Exhibition Hall 20 under Berlin’s radio tower.
With the resignation of the club’s highly controversial president Werner Gegenbauer just a day after being up in the relegation zone against Hamburger SV, the potential for rebellion has diminished somewhat. A big attraction figure of the fans no longer plays a role. But the agenda is explosive. The proposals to elect interim chairman Thorsten Manske and the entire executive committee have been made. Fans’ dissatisfaction with the downturn instead of the big city dreams may erupt into a powerlessness of the Hertha establishment.
CEO Fredi Bobic already reminded of the “duty of care” for everyone for the club. When he plans, he needs reliable contacts right away and no stalemate before the presidential election in a few weeks.
So far, only former ultra and current entrepreneur Kay Bernstein has positioned herself. He wants to be president of the fan base. He launches his campaign quite skillfully. He does not polarize, will involve everyone. However, he provokes the establishment around Manske and also the head of the board, Torsten-Jörn Klein, who would be the logical replacement for Gegenbauer in relation to the club hierarchy. But Bernstein expects another candidate. And from investor Windhorst’s camp, which will not compete itself, but could place a follower.
Windhorst speaks to members for the first time
Windhorst’s speech is a highlight on the agenda. The controversial financier is speaking to fans for the first time – and the reactions will be an indicator of the role that Hertha members will play in the future. The 45-year-old must be wise in striving to influence the operating business. He must not alienate his loyal followers. He should present himself as one of yours. His 375 million euros are currently lost. Windhorst needs the sporting recovery for a long-term prospect of returns.
Apparently, Bobic has already clarified an important personal matter. That Sandro Schwarz will be the new Hertha coach is a done deal. The announcement is expected no later than the beginning of the week when the club committees agree. Before then, the 43-year-old will play the Russian Cup final with Dynamo Moscow against Spartak Moscow on Sunday. His stay in Russia despite the attack on Ukraine should be a problem for Schwarz, at least initially in Berlin. Critical questions are safe. Hertha will not rest soon.