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FC St. Pauli have drawn the consequences from the negative on-pitch development in the 2022 calendar year and relieved head coach Timo Schultz and assistant coach Loic Favé of their duties. The decision came after an internal analysis of the past 12 months and a discussion on the options for the remainder of the season and the coming year.

Club president Oke Göttlich and director of sport Andreas Bornemann described the decision as difficult, yet necessary. They thanked Timo Schultz for his work and his long association with the club. Schultz stepped up to the senior job from the position of Under-19 coach in July 2020, having served the club in various positions since 2005, first as a player, then as assistant coach and youth coach, and finally head coach.

“Timo is St. Pauli through and through and has been a great servant to the club,” said Göttlich, underlining how difficult the decision was. “We’ve analysed and discussed the past few months intensively and unfortunately now feel compelled to take action,” said Bornemann. Göttlich added: “We always have to consider what’s best overall for FC St. Pauli – and our record on the pitch in 2022 is that of a relegated side. That has to change immediately and sustainably to allow us to instigate all the measures necessary to avoid the drop. The Covid-19 pandemic and soaring energy costs are creating massive problems for the club,” Göttlich continued.

“Problems across two seasons”

Bornemann said that the talks at the end of the first half of the season had not produced enough starting points for a new concept. “We’ve identified various patterns in the on-pitch problems for quite some time, including the fatally poor away form, a lack of balance between defence and attack, a lack of progress made, and also an inability to turn games round after going behind. We would have liked to see new approaches to halting the ongoing problems we’ve seen over the last two seasons,” said Bornemann, pointing out that the Boys in Brown had not come from behind to win in the league since October 2021. The team are without a win on their travels this season; their last three-point haul away from home came against Ingolstadt, who were later relegated, in February of this year. “We cannot rely on winning our home games“, said Bornemann, “Instead we need clear concepts for how the team can overcome difficult situations and cope with falling behind, not just away from home.”

In view of the overall on-pitch development, the presidential board unanimously agreed to make a change at the helm. “The long winter break is the right moment to set a new course for a successful second half of the season,” said Bornemann. Assistant coach Fabian Hürzeler will now take charge of training in the interim. “Fabian has already shown the value of his expertise and consistency for the team,” said Bornemann. “The makeup of the coaching team for the second half to the season will be clarified by January,” said Göttlich before paying tribute to the departing head coach: “Whether as a player, assistant coach, head coach or simply as a person, Timo Schultz was, is and always will be welcome at the Millerntor and a part of FC St. Pauli!”

Season resumes in late January

The senior squad will resume training on 9 December and will play a friendly away from home on 21 December, albeit behind closed doors. Two additional friendlies will take place during the club’s winter training camp in Spain from 2 to 9 January and the Boys in Brown will contest another friendly at Borussia Mönchengladbach on 14 January. A warm-up game is also scheduled to take place at the Millerntor on 21 January before the campaign resumes with a trip to FC Nürnberg on 29 January. Hannover 96 are the visitors for the first home game of the year on 5 February.


Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters