Bundesliga News

Kicker Report: Köln sack Markus Gisdol, Friedhelm Funkel set to take over

By Peter Vice

As of late Sunday evening, an official confirmation from the club itself is still pending. 

Reliable sources at Germany's most reliable footballing publication can still be assumed to have it right.

FC Köln have terminated trainer Markus Gisdol. Friedhelm Funkel is the new head-coach in the cathedral city. 

Friedhelm Funkel.
Friedhelm Funkel.Photo: Fuguito/CC-by-SA 3.0

Sunday's disappointing result was the last straw indeed. A move rumored to be in the works for some weeks has evidently been triggered. German footballing magazine Kicker broke the news late Sunday evening.

A little over 14 months after being let go by then top-tier side Fortuna Düsseldorf and declaring that he wished to end his coaching career, Friedhelm Funkel will return to the Bundesliga sidelines as the new head-coach of 1. FC Köln.

The 67-year-old, considered a legend of sorts by those who follow the lower German football tiers, actually coached die Geißböcke once before during an 20-month stint in 2002-2003. This will be his 10th career coaching appointment.

Gisdol's tenure comes to an after just 16-months at the helm of the Domstädter. After taking over for Achim Beierlorzer in November 2019, Gisdol initially turned the club's fortunes around with 25 points from his first 13 games.

The club did not win a single match after the 2019/2020 corona break, however. A winless streak continued nine rounds into this season and, after an embarrassing seven fixture scoreless streak near the turn of the calendar year, few expected Gisdol to survive the season.

Funkel has six league fixtures left to rescue Germany's cathedral city club from the drop.

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