Urs Fischer has left Union Berlin by mutual consent after five years of near continual success with the Swiss hoping his departure will “help spark a development” at the Bundesliga club.
Fischer took over at Union in July 2018 and, along with assistant Markus Hoffmann, led the club to promotion to the top flight where they immediately stabilised. The last three seasons have seen finishes of seventh, fifth and fourth, the latter resulting in a place in the Champions League.
However, Union have found it much harder in 2023-24 and currently sit bottom of the Bundesliga having taken just six points from 11 games. A run of 12 successive defeats across all competitions was recently broken by a 1-1 Champions League draw at Napoli but familiar frailties resurfaced in the 4-0 thrashing at Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
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The last few weeks have cost a lot of strength,” said Fischer. “We’ve tried a lot, and the team has put in a lot of effort, but it hasn’t paid off in terms of results. I am very grateful for the confidence I have always felt here. Nevertheless, it feels right to make a change now. Sometimes a different face, a different way of addressing a team helps to spark a development.
“I’ve got to know and appreciate an exceptional club in Union. My thanks go to the players I have been able to work with, Markus Hoffmann and my team, the club’s management, and staff, as well as the fans. I am very lucky to have experienced this extremely positive kind of support. I wish Union all the best and am convinced that they will manage to stay in the league.”
With all our heavy hearts, and by mutual consent, Urs Fischer and Markus Hoffmann are leaving. There are few words to express just how grateful we are to them for the last five and a half years. https://t.co/aNAbMwLEET
— 1. FC Union Berlin (English) (@fcunion_en) November 15, 2023
Union president Dirk Zingler added: “I recently made it clear that Urs Fischer is an outstanding coach, and I remain absolutely convinced of that.
“His personality and his successful work have characterised our club in recent years and opened many new opportunities for us. In the five and a half years that we have worked together, we have developed a respect and trust for each other that has enabled us to always exchange ideas openly and honestly. Together, we have now come to the conclusion that the time has come to take a different path.
“This is a very sad moment for not only for me personally, but certainly for the entire Union family.
“It hurts that we have not managed to break the negative run of recent weeks. I am grateful and proud when looking back on the time we have spent and the successes we have celebrated together. As painful as this separation is, Urs Fischer is leaving as a friend who will always be welcomed by us with open arms.”
Mario Grote, the club’s Under-19 boss has been appointed interim coach, supported by Marie-Louise Eta.