Following yesterday's 0:1 home defeat at the hands of Wolfsberger AC in the Allianz Stadium, the Austrian record champions have parted company with key figures at the management level. Both Andreas Müller, the club's most senior figure in sporting matters since his arrival in January 2014, and Mike Büskens, Head Trainer since June 2016, have been relieved of their duties with immediate effect.
Club President Michael Krammer, who informed Büskens and Müller of his decision during a meeting with the pair on Monday morning in Hüttledorf, explained the reasoning behind his decision to part company with Mike Büskens: "Despite the exceptional manner in which we qualified for the Group Stages of the UEFA Europa League - despite the 0:2 defeat against AS Trencin - our bread and butter remains the domestic league. The cumulative statistics from our past ten league matches which show only two victories and a negative goal difference of 9:12 are simply far too poor a return for a club with demands such as ours. Injury problems and the weight of competing on two fronts cannot be the only reason for this meager return, not with a squad as deep as the one at our disposal. The team is still showing the requisite desire, but there is little evidence of the anticipated further development of the side." The President added: "There was a unanimity amongst the decisive voices, including various members of the club hierarchy and the Chairman of the Board of SK Rapid Vienna, Christoph Peschek, that the same was applicable to Andreas Müller, whom we fully trusted with the managerial appointment in June. In the immediate future Thomas Hickersberger will take first team training until the end of the international break, when will present Mike Büskens' successor. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike on behalf of the club for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future. The new Head Coach will clearly have his own voice when it comes to assembling his backroom staff", explained Kammer.
On his departure the outgoing Mike Büskens said: "I would like to thank the club, particularly the playing staff and trainer team, for the short period we worked together. In the end it was - with the exception of the away match against Admira – a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal that has cost us not the manner with which we played football. All the statistics back this up."
On the decision to release Andreas Müller and on possible replacements Krammer said: "Unfortunately its the case in football that despite the best working relationships that situations can arise that make a separation necessary. Andreas Müller has been an exceptional servant for SK Rapid Vienna since January 2014 and through his skillful negotiations and shrewd transfers made it possible to tie promising players to the club long term. For this we need to express our gratitude. Nonetheless we came to the realization that we want to have a fresh start at the top sporting levels within the club. Given that we don't have any pressing contract negotiations that require our immediate attention, we want to take our time to appoint the right successor, who could come either from within Austria or abroad, but who should be able to speak German", stated the Rapid President.
As always SK Rapid will keep all updated with ongoing information concerning the decision making process, but asks for patience whilst this process is ongoing and will not be responding to rumours or issuing speculative statements.