Hertha deny sporting director axed over derby loss
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Hertha Berlin president Kay Bernstein denied former sporting director Fredi Bobic was sacked due to the club's derby loss, saying on Sunday the decision had already been made.
Bobic, who played for Hertha for two years from 2003 to 2005 and was named sporting director in July 2021, was fired on Saturday afternoon just hours after his side's 2-0 loss to derby rivals Union Berlin.
Bernstein, a former ultra who took over as president in the summer of 2022, implied Bobic was not familiar enough with the club, explaining the sacking by saying "we need more Hertha in all areas."
In a specially convened press conference on Sunday afternoon, Bernstein said the decision to sack Bobic came after the club's 5-0 home loss to Wolfsburg on Tuesday.
"Everything in the last week (led to the decision).
"Things became more concrete after the game against Wolfsburg. Then we made a strategic change of course.
"We thought about it carefully. The decision would have been made regardless of the game."
Bernstein also said current manager Sandro Schwarz had "100 percent support" from the board.
Bobic was replaced as sporting director by former youth academy boss Benjamin Weber, who Bernstein called "a thoroughbred Herthaner who can ignite everyone".
Bernstein said the decision was made to establish better links between the club's academy and the first team.
"This is not a decision against Fredi Bobic, but a decision for Hertha BSC.
"Our academy, our youngsters are some of the best in the country, so if we have Benny Weber around the academy, then we want to continue on this path by making (him) sporting director."
Weber, who quit as head of the youth academy in 2022, said on Sunday "I didn't think I would come back to my club so quickly."
"I'm eager to get going."
Hertha, who narrowly escaped relegation via a playoff victory over Hamburg at the end of last season, currently sit in second last place on the ladder, having won just three matches all season.