Union Berlin have announced that they and head coach Urs Fischer have mutually agreed to part ways after five momentous years together, the club confirmed on Wednesday morning.
The decision comes with Union on a run of 14 games without a win, which includes 13 defeats, stretching back to September. The weekend’s 4-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen saw the Köpenick club drop to the bottom of the table.
Since taking over in July 2018, Fischer made history with Die Eisernen, first guiding them into the Bundesliga for the first time ever in 2019 before continuing the year-on-year improvement with finishes of 11, seventh, fifth and then fourth last season.
Fischer therefore took the Berlin club from the second division into the UEFA Europa Conference League, Europa League and ultimately the Champions League, as well as guiding them to first place in the Bundesliga for the first time ever during the 2022/23 campaign.
“Urs achieved extraordinary things at Union and took the club to a whole new sporting level. I’d like to thank Urs for his commitment and always respectful and trustworthy work together,” said sporting director Oliver Ruhnert in the club’s official statement.
Fischer added: “The last few weeks have taken a lot of energy. We’ve tried a lot, the team has expended a lot, but it hasn’t been repaid in results. I’m very grateful for the trust I’ve felt at all times here. But still, it feels right for a change now. Sometimes a new face helps a team.
“I got to know and appreciate an extraordinary club in Union. It’s really lucky to have experienced this extreme style of support. I wish Union only the best and am confident they will stay up.”
Watch: Union’s fairy-tale 2022/23
President Dirk Zingler also said: “I recently stated clearly that Urs is an outstanding coach, and I remain convinced of that. His personality and successful work have shaped our club in recent years and opened up many new possibilities for us. During the five-and-a-half years of our work together, respect and trust has developed between us. However, we are now both convinced that it’s time for a new direction.
“For me personally, and I’m sure for the entire Union family, this is a very sad moment. It hurts that we didn’t manage to turn around this bad run of recent months. Looking at our time together and the success we enjoyed together, I’m grateful and proud. As painful as this separation is, Urs leaves as a friend who will be welcomed back by us with open arms at any time.”
Fischer leaves Union having overseen 224 matches in charge, winning 95 and losing 71. Die Eisernen sit bottom of the Bundesliga with only six points after 11 games, having won their first two matches of the season and being top of the table. They next host Augsburg on Saturday, 25 November at the Stadion an der Alten Försterei.
Watch: Fischer’s final game was a 4-0 loss to Leverkusen
They then travel to Braga the following Wednesday before visiting Bayern Munich. Qualification for the Champions League knockout stage is now out of reach after only one point from the first four games – Union’s first ever in the competition – but they could still move into the Europa League with two games to go.
Union have placed U19s coach Marco Grote in temporary charge until a permanent appointment. His assistant is Marie-Louise Eta.
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