Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund said Sunday they have fired head coach Lucien Favre, a day after the team suffered their heaviest home defeat in over a decade.
Swiss coach Favre is to be replaced by his assistant-coach Edin Terzic after Dortmund crashed 5-1 to VfB Stuttgart leaving them fifth in the league five points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
“It is very difficult for us to take this step, but we believe that the current negative development has put our season goals in danger, and we have to take action,” said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc.
A defiant Favre said that he was disappointed by the decision.
“I think it’s a great shame that we are parting ways,” the sacked Swiss was quoted as saying by Bild newspaper.
“We had two very successful years and have a team which would also have had a successful season this year. I am still convinced of that,” he added.
Yet Favre himself had also branded “a disaster” Saturday’s showing, which was the squad’s heaviest home defeat since being humbled 5-1 at home to Bayern Munich in 2009.
Dortmund have taken just a point in their two league games since star striker Erling Braut Haaland was ruled out until January with a hip injury.
Their home form has been particularly poor in recent weeks, with defeat to Stuttgart the third loss in a row at the Signal-Iduna-Park.
Favre’s fate was decided during a crisis meeting of club bosses at the stadium directly after the final whistle on Saturday, German media reported.
“We are all grateful to Lucien Favre for his fantastic work in the last two and a half years,” said club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke Sunday.
Will achieve nothing
Favre, 63, left Ligue 1 side OGC Nice for Dortmund in 2018, having previously managed fellow Bundesliga clubs Hertha Berlin and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Having won the Swiss Cup with both Servette and FC Zurich early in his career, he also received plaudits for leading both Nice and Gladbach to Champions League qualification.
Swiftly after arriving in Dortmund in 2018, Favre made a name for himself as a fine soccer technician.
He has twice led the club to second place in the Bundesliga but has often been criticised for not managing to launch a serious title challenge.
Dortmund won just one piece of silverware under Favre’s leadership, beating Bayern 2-0 in the 2019 German Supercup.
The club confirmed that Favre’s assistant Edin Terzic would take the reins “until the end of the season”, beginning with Dortmund’s trip to Werder Bremen on Tuesday.
Terzic, 38, previously worked in Dortmund’s youth system and was part of Croatian coach Slaven Bilic’s staff at both Besiktas and West Ham United.
He will be assisted by former youth coach Sebastian Geppert and former Dortmund midfielder Otto Addo.
With Favre gone, the team is under pressure to return to winning ways against Bremen and steer Dortmund back on course for Champions League qualification.
“We need to sort this out internally and we will do that. If we keep playing like we have been in recent games, we won’t achieve anything,” said Dortmund veteran Marco Reus.