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Club officials have responded to the on-field developments of recent weeks and relieved director of sport Uwe Stöver and head coach Markus Kauczinski of their duties with immediate effect. That is the outcome of talks held between the supervisory and management boards late on Tuesday evening. The decision was communicated to Uwe Stöver and Markus Kauczinski on Wednesday morning. The players and backroom staff were informed of the decision before the morning training session.

"It wasn't an easy decision for us, especially as we think a lot of Uwe and Markus as people," said club president Oke Göttlich. "But in the interests of FC St. Pauli, we think it is a necessary step to end the season successfully and lay the foundations for the new campaign."

"I would have liked to have carried on working, of course," said Uwe Stöver. "But we were of different opinion about the next steps and the future direction. I have to respect that. I would like to wish the club all the very best for the future."

A successor to Markus Kauczinski has been found in Dutchman Jos Luhukay, 55, who was last with Sheffield Wednesday in England, but has already had spells in charge of VfB Stuttgart, Hertha BSC, Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Augsburg and SC Paderborn in Germany. In the position of head coach, Luhukay guided Hertha BSC, Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Augsburg to promotion to the Bundesliga, a feat he achieved not once but twice in the role of assistant coach at FC Cologne. Commercial director Andreas Rettig will act as director of sport on an interim basis until the end of the season.

The duo will be officially unveiled at a press conference with club president Oke Göttlich to be held at the Millerntor at 1500 CET on Thursday afternoon, when they will comment on the current on-pitch situation.

Wednesday morning's training session was run by assistant coaches Markus Gellhaus and André Trulsen. The afternoon session has been cancelled.


Photos: Witters



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