Football

Frankfurt furious with Bayern's announcement of Kovac as coach

Bayern Munich's decision to name Eintracht Frankfurt tactician Niko Kovac as their new coach on Friday has not gone down well with the Frankfurt club.

Frankfurt's sporting director Fredi Bobic was furious, accusing Bayern of being “not professional and disrespectful”.

He said at a press conference on Friday: "The offer has surprised us at this stage of the season, but we owe a lot to Kovac.

"The timing is unfortunate, and the fact information has leaked to the public – certainly not from Frankfurt, but from Munich – is disrespectful, unprofessional.

"We have a very important match tomorrow in Leverkusen and next week in the cup against Schalke, which should actually be the topics today.

"The procedure, I think, is extremely questionable, as I said before. Bayern have thought of themselves and not for a second about Eintracht Frankfurt."

Bayern had appointed Kovac as he is familiar with the Bavarian side, having played for them before.

The Croat, who had also coached his country at the last World Cup in Brazil, had impressed by helping Frankfurt survive relegation in 2016 before leading them to contention for a European slot for next season. 

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 

They will exchange places with fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen if they beat them tonight.

Bayern, who have already sealed their sixth consecutive Bundesliga title, are on course for a Treble. They will face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals and meet Bayer Leverkusen in the last four of the German Cup.

However, veteran coach Jupp Heynckes, who came out of retirement to lead Bayern, will not extend his stay, hence the need for the club to find a replacement.

“Niko was a player at Bayern, he is very familiar with the people involved as well as the structure and the DNA of the club,” said Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

The 46-year-old will start a three-year contract with Bayern from July 1. Kovac will also bring his 44-year-old brother Robert Kovac from Frankfurt as assistant coach.

Born in Berlin to Croatian parents, both brothers played for the Croatian national team as well as Bayern.

The elder Kovac was also coach of the Croatian team with his brother as assistant manager.

Bayern did not reveal the cost of poaching Kovac, but both Bild and Sport Bild claimed that his departure before the end of his Frankfurt contract in 2019 would cost Bayern 2.2 million euros (S$3.6 million). – AFP

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