Daum defends his Cologne exit
Former Cologne coach Christoph Daum has defended his decision to walk out on the club recently to sign a more lucrative contract at an as yet unconfirmed foreign club. The 55-year-old activated a release clause in his contract with the Bundesliga club after receiving an offer which was too good to refuse, believed to be from Turkish side Fenerbahce.
His departure angered Cologne's fans, who had worshipped him for taking them back into the Bundesliga, establishing them there and playing a fundamental role in re-signing Lukas Podolski from next season. But he claims the fans should be grateful for what he has achieved rather than bitter to see him go.
"I have left behind a stable environment, which was not the case in 2008 when I had chances to leave," he said.
"I turned down clubs who were playing in the [UEFA] Champions League and had higher expectations.
"I want to point out that I took the biggest risk of my life in taking over Cologne in the second division," said Daum.
That is why he insisted on inserting a release-clause into his contract when he arrived three years ago.
"Since nobody knew where the journey would take us, I chose a contract with this clause in it," he explained.
"I have built something up in Cologne, but the club also made it clear to me, and I don't criticise them in any way, what we could aim for in the long-term.
"That was only good enough for a mid-table position and I have different ambitions," he said.
"I asked myself if I wanted to continue or whether it was better to let somebody else do it, and I decided to go."
Cologne have yet to find a replacement for Daum, with former Schalke coach Mirko Slomka and Stuttgart player Zvonimir Soldo regarded as the two leading candidates.