Schalke president admits changes needed
Schalke president Clemens Tonnies has fuelled further speculation coach Felix Magath will be shown the door next week by admitting changes are needed at the club. Rumours surfaced in the hours building up to Schalke's 3-1 triumph over Valencia last night that a decision had already been taken at board level to relieve Magath of his duties at the end of the season.
Although Magath claims he does not know anything and that he still expects to fulfil his contract, which expires in 2013, he did reveal a meeting has been called on Monday. And Tonnies has told Kicker magazine change is necessary without explicitly confirming the rumours that Magath will be forced out at the end of the season. "We have got to call it a day, regardless of the Champions League," he said. "It has been a wasted year."
The main criticism being levelled at Magath is his lack of identification with the club's fans, who have been calling for him to be fired for weeks. Although he has led them into the final of the DFB-Pokal and the last eight of the UEFA Champions League, the fans are still hungry for their first ever Bundesliga title, which they expected more than ever this season after finishing a close second to Bayern Munich last term.
Instead, Schalke lie tenth, 12 points adrift of the top five. "The whole club is in flames," added Tonnies. "Schalke has always been a club which has stood for passionate togetherness and especially at times like these when team spirit and a feeling of unity are so predominant in football, anything else is unacceptable."
Magath did not lead training this morning, increasing speculation his time in charge could soon come to an end. Failure to beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Saturday could hasten Magath's departure, even if large sections of the crowd at the Arena AufSchalke showed their support for him last night. "That makes me happy," Magath said afterwards.