Borussia Dortmund have sacked head coach Peter Bosz following the team's 2-1 home defeat against Werder Bremen on Saturday and replaced him with former Cologne boss Peter Stoger appointed until the end of the season, the club announced on Sunday.
Bosz, 54, leaves the Westfalenstadion after a dire run of results in all competitions. Bar a cup win at third-tier Magdeburg, Dortmund have not won a match since Sept. 30.
The Dutch coach had only replaced Thomas Tuchel in the BVB dugout ahead of the season, but following a flying start to the campaign with 19 points from their first seven matches, Dortmund completely collapsed and managed just three draws from their last eight Bundesliga games.
And following the 2-1 defeat to Bremen, who had previously been without a win away from home, the former Ajax boss was sacked after just over five months in charge at the Westfalenstadion.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said at a news conference on Sunday: "Last night, we decided in a meeting with Peter Bosz that he will immediately be released. It was very emotional, but classy. And Bosz took it with class.
"I would like to thank him in the name of everyone here at the club. We still believe he is a very good coach, and an outstanding personality. The cooperation was outstanding. And we would like to thank him for that."
Sporting director Michael Zorc added: "I saw how intensely he tried to achieve the turnaround. It did not work out. And thus it was inevitable."
Following Saturday's game, in which midfielder Shinji Kagawa missed an open goal from close range with the team losing, Dortmund dropped to seventh in the Bundesliga table.
Within only eight matches, league leaders Bayern Munich were not only able to close a five-point gap on Dortmund but also open up a 13-point lead on their big rivals.
With the chances of a Bundesliga title this season gone, Dortmund are still in contention for a Champions League spot, but those ahead of BVB have already opened up a small gap.
After years of stability at the club, the sacking of Bosz is the first midseason dismissal of a coach since a three-coach season in 2006-2007 when first Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk and then Jurgen Rober vacated their seats in the Westfalenstadion dugout.
✌️ Herzlich willkommen bei Borussia Dortmund, Peter Stöger! pic.twitter.com/WzkaWw8nCx— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) December 10, 2017
Dortmund confirmed that Stoger, fired by Cologne a week ago, would sign a contract until June 30, 2018.
The 51-year-old said: "I don't think Watzke asked me because of this season, but rather because of the work I've done in the four years before that.
"I flew from Cologne to Vienna yesterday, received a call from Watzke in the evening, and came here in the morning. I had the feeling that they would really like me to face the situation, and at that time, because help is needed.
"It's a surprising situation, but an extraordinary chance. I am really looking forward to coach here, to coach this team and in this stadium. It's really something special."
Zorc added: "Peter Stoger developed the club at Cologne for over four years. He has shown he can bring stability to a team, and we need stability, especially at the back."
Watzke said: "We are not used to changing coaches during a season. We are thankful that Stoger accepted it. He has not yet signed a contract, but will sign a contract until June 30, 2018. Nothing is set in stone in life, and both sides wanted to commit until the end of the season.
"Let Stoger begin his work, our goal now is to win a few points until the winter break. We'll announce our goals in the winter.
"Liverpool did not sign [former Dortmund boss Jurgen] Klopp for his final year at Dortmund, but his overall body of work. Finishing fifth with Cologne is like winning the league with other clubs. We talked to no-one else, it was clear we'd ask Stoger."