BERLIN - Schalke 04 have sacked coach Fred Rutten following a run of poor results this season, the Bundesliga club said on Thursday. "Fred Rutten is not head coach of Schalke any more," said a statement. "In the current season the team failed.... to meet all their targets." Rutten, 46, said earlier on Thursday he had been told he had no future at the club next season. Schalke have endured a disappointing campaign in the Dutchman's first year in the Bundesliga and had already sacked general manager Andreas Mueller earlier this month. Club chairman Josef Schnusenberg said he had a very "frank and at times emotional discussion" with Rutten. Assistant coaches Mike Buskens, Youri Mulder und Oliver Reck will be in temporary charge for the remaining nine league games. Schalke finished third in the Bundesliga last season but are now eighth, 12 points off the pace. They have also been eliminated from the German Cup and UEFA Cup. The supporters had been calling for Rutten's removal in the past few league matches. On Sunday, Schalke lost 2-1 at home to Hamburg SV with their fans again booing the coach and team. The club are searching for a replacement for Mueller and have held talks with several candidates, including former Germany and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.
26 March 2009
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