Bo Svensson has vacated his position as Mainz head coach by mutual consent, the club have confirmed.
Svensson's exit follows Mainz's 3-0 loss to Bundesliga 2's Hertha Berlin in the DFB Cup second round, and with the 05ers bottom of the Bundesliga nine games into the 2023/24 campaign. They have not won in the league in 14 matches, dating back to Matchday 29 of last season.
"Mainz 05 owe a lot to Bo, especially the fact that we're still playing in the Bundesliga today," commented sporting director Christian Heidel. "However, over the past few weeks, we've spent many hours discussing how we can reverse the negative trend. Unfortunately, there are always complex developments in football that can bring such a successful joint effort to a point where it might be better to take a new path.
"Bo felt the same way and spoke to us about it. I appreciate his openness and his attachment to Mainz 05. We've always had a special, trusting relationship. My and our thanks go to him for his commitment. It was an extraordinary time. We wish him all the best for his future. He will always remain a 05er."
Installed as coach in January 2021, Svensson oversaw 104 matches in all competitions. At one point, the former Mainz defender boasted a better points-per-game average than vaunted club predecessors Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, but his team's fortunes faded badly after the 3-1 win over Bayern Munich on 22 April 2023. The 05ers ended the previous campaign in ninth place after losing four of their final five fixtures, and have picked up just three points across their first nine Bundesliga assignments of 2023/24 (W0, D3, L6).
"It's very difficult for me to say goodbye, but I have the feeling that now is the right time," the 44-year-old Dane said. "I've been with Mainz for 16 years. I've learned so much here, met so many great people, in the club, among the fans, in the city; my children grew up here in Mainz. These experiences will shape me for the rest of my life.
"But unfortunately, due to results, the time has come to accept that no individual is bigger than the club, and that everyone needs to pull together to get through this. Unfortunately, that won't include me, but it has to be this way."
U23s coach Jan Siewert will take temporary charge, starting with Mainz's home game against title candidates RB Leipzig on Matchday 10. The 05ers - promoted to the Bundesliga for the second time in their history in 2009 - begin the post-Svensson era three points adrift of outright safety.
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