Just as Hamburg started to turn things around on the pitch, there is a major change off it.
Club chairman Dietmar Beiersdorfer was sacked Sunday, just after the team, which has never been relegated from the Bundesliga, won its second match in a row to extend an unbeaten run to four games (not quite at Real Madrid's level but it’s now at least out of the automatic relegation spots). Heribert Bruchhagen, who left Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer, is the new man in charge, and his big change will be to appoint a sporting director in time for January. Beiersdorfer was fulfilling that role himself, as he was unable to agree a deal with Horst Heldt, the former Schalke sporting director.
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This was Beiersdorfer’s third spell at the club: first as a player from 1986-1992; then as sports director from 2002-09, when he helped Hamburg into the Europa League. Those days look a long way off now.
So who does Bruchhagen want to hire soon to help Hamburg in the winter market? According to Kicker, none other than Heldt himself. Timing could be of the essence, though. News broke Monday that Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs has also been fired, and Heldt is on its list too (as is former Karlsruhe's Jens Todt, and ex-Bayern director Matthias Sammer).
At the other end of the table, there was a sense of normal service resuming, as Bayern Munich beat relegation-threatened Wolfsburg 5-0 while RB Leipzig lost its unbeaten record by losing to coach Ralph Hussenhutl’s former side Ingolstadt.