Hamburg - FC St. Pauli have relieved head coach Michael Frontzeck of his duties with immediate effect and appointed Roland Vrabec as his replacement until the winter break. The decision was made following a meeting between the board of directors, sporting director Rachid Azzouzi and the club’s supervisory board.

“This decision was not taken lightly,” explained club president Stefan Orth. “However, Michael Frontzeck informed us that he would no longer continue working for the club beyond the end of the current campaign after we failed to react to his clear intent regarding signing an immediate contract extension.”

“Very surprised”

Frontzeck, a former German international, took over from departing head coach Andre Schubert at St. Pauli in October 2012 before guiding the side to safety at the end of last season. The club had continued to develop in a promising manner in the current campaign and, despite inconsistent results, currently sit just eight points off of top spot in the Bundesliga 2.

“We had set out a timetable in which we envisaged entering contract talks in winter, but Michael Frontzeck chose not to accept that,” said Azzouzi, who informed the squad of the development on Wednesday morning. “We wanted to assess the development of this newly-formed side and lead discussions with the entire coaching staff. Our signals were always positive. Therefore we have been very surprised by the response and actions of Michael Frontzeck.”

Assistant coach Vrabec will assume control of first team affairs until the winter break. His first game will be at home against FC Energie Cottbus on Matchday 14, who also find themselves without a head coach at present.