Kaizer Chiefs have announced that they have parted ways with coach Ernst Middendorp with immediate effect.
Middendorp leaves after guiding the club to a second place finish in the Absa Premiership, losing the title on the last day of the campaign to Mamelodi Sundowns.
“We deliberated and considered many aspects related to the team, including our way of playing, our performances and the results before coming to the decision,” confirmed club chairman Kaizer Motaung.
“We truly believed and hoped that our 50th anniversary year would be better, and it indeed looked promising. The decision taken is part of a strategy to have the team win trophies again and to make our supporters happy because they deserve better.”
Middendorp joined Chiefs on 7 December 2018. In his first six months in charge, the German coach took Amakhosi to ninth position on the Absa Premiership table and reached the Nedbank Cup final.
“After giving the coach and the technical team the ammunition required to compete in the new season, there were some improvements, and this was evident during the first seven months of this 2019/2020 season.
“However, when the league restarted post-lockdown, things changed, and we looked a totally different side in our last eight league matches. We witnessed some heart-stopping performances and we were overtaken on the log in the last game of the season, which truly broke our hearts. We have to take responsibility – we can’t wait and allow this situation to continue.”
Motaung also thanked Middendorp for his efforts and work.
“We pride ourselves on having built a strong legacy and a culture based on winning,” the Chairman continues. “We are aware that the supporters are hurting, and the outcry is too loud to ignore. It is important for our loyal supporters to know that we feel their pain. We are a listening organisation and we respect their right to express their dissatisfaction with the team’s overall performance.
“While we are wounded, we need to remember that the key principle of loyalty is showing unity and standing together in solidarity when the going gets tough.”
The club also announced that the players have been given time off and will return before the end of September. A new coach will also be announced prior to the resumption of the pre-season training
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By Ofhani Munyai