Latest Transfer Update at 10-04-11
van Gaal - sacked by Bayern Munich
LOUIS VAN GAAL SACKED BY BAYERN
Louis van Gaal has been relieved of his duties as coach of Bayern Munich with immediate effect, the German club have confirmed.
The 59-year-old was due to leave the club at the end of the season but his departure has now been brought forward, with the club fourth in the Bundesliga and struggling to ensure qualification for next season's Champions League.
Van Gaal led the club to the league title last season, his first at the club, and also to the final of the Champions League. His assistant Andries Jonker will take charge until the end of the season, when Jupp Heynckes will succeed him as the club's new permanent boss.
Club bosses Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeness, Karl Hopfner and the director of sport Christian Nerlinger held crisis talks in the club's headquarters and subsequently informed Van Gaal of their decision to go their separate ways on Saturday night after returning from Nurnberg, where the team drew 1-1.
"The board, director of sport and president of FC Bayern took this decision together," read a statement from the club.
"After the 1-1 draw in Nurnberg and the renewed slide to fourth in the table, and with the threat of missing out on the minimum aim of a place in the Champions League next season, this decision was taken in FC Bayern's best interests.
"Louis van Gaal's assistants Frans Hoek, Jos van Dijk and Max Reckers have also been relieved of their duties."
Bayern currently trail third-placed Hannover by a point and, were the season to end now, they would only be playing in the Europa League next season.
Since the final of the Champions League will be held at the Allianz Arena next year, failure to even qualify for the competition would be a severe disappointment for Bayern, who will now end the season without a single trophy.
However, Nerlinger thinks Jonker, who was Van Gaal's right-hand man, can turn things around.
"He enjoys the utmost faith within this club," said Nerlinger.
"We have faith in him and believe that he will be able to master this challenge.
"It was not just a spur of the moment decision to pass the responsibility over to him. We know how much he cares for this club and that he is happy here and enjoys the team's respect.
"He has shown that today. He is 100% convinced that we will reach the goals we have."
Rummenigge explained that there had been "no alternative" but to part company with Van Gaal.
And president Uli Hoeness said it was a decision which was a long time in coming.
"It all started getting messy when he (Van Gaal) dropped Hans-Jorg Butt and replaced him with Thomas Kraft," he said.
"That brought insecurity into the defence and we could not hold out for much longer.
"Football should be enjoyable, but there has been nothing enjoyable about football at FC Bayern for a while now.
"And to say that he had the players behind him was a myth."
Hoeness carried on by blaming Van Gaal for the recent crowd protests against his own person, saying the Dutchman's opposition to the planned bid for Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had created divisions in the club.
"The Manuel Neuer issue would never have escalated like it did and we would never have had any problems with the fans," he said.
"Problems were created which were totally unnecessary and which have ripped the club to pieces.
"Louis Van Gaal should consider what he has done."
Bayern now find themselves in the same situation they were in two years ago before Van Gaal arrived having parted company from one coach in the hope that the move will provide a spark to the team.
Jupp Heynckes managed to lead Bayern into the Champions League after replacing Jurgen Klinsmann in 2009 and Jonker will now have to do the same before Heynckes returns to the club in the summer.
"He held a remarkable speech in front of the team," reported Rummenigge.
"He said that will take over everything which was good, but that he will change things which, in his view, are in need of being changed.
"I believe that Andries Jonker has a very clear plan."
His first game in charge could be crucial as Bayern host second-placed Bayer Leverkusen next weekend knowing a defeat would end their hopes of finishing second this season and leave them only third place to play for.
And that is not something they can take for granted either as they trail Hannover by one point.