Turbine Potsdam is facing a Herculean task. After it was announced on Saturday that the previous head coach Sofian Chahed and Turbine would go their separate ways in the future and that by mutual agreement, the Bundesliga club announced on Wednesday evening that club president Rolf Kutzmutz had resigned with immediate effect.
Spicy was his statement about the reason for ending the collaboration: “The amicable separation with the previous head coach Sofian Chahed caused me to thoroughly rethink the past year,” said the 75-year-old on the club’s website.
“My approach of doing everything and showing that the criticisms of the past are taken up as well as suggestions for work, so that the club is on a solid footing and it can successfully compete with the licensed clubs, has not worked from a personal point of view. “
Under Chahed, Turbine narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Champions League, finishing fourth in the league. In addition, the Potsdam women made it into the DFB Cup final, which was last achieved seven years ago.
If you look at Potsdam’s financial possibilities and last season’s squad, that’s actually a very good record, especially since the only goal that the club set at the beginning of the season was to do better in the Bundesliga than the year before – which Chahed and his team ultimately succeeded.
Kutzmutz’s statements therefore raise the question of how amicable the separation from Chahed as head coach actually was and at the same time reveal problems that the club has had for a long time, as not least the presidential candidate Tabea Kemme openly addressed last summer and was sharply criticized for it, especially by the Kutzmutz supporters.
She wanted to turn the club upside down and spoke of encrusted structures that would prevent the club from remaining competitive. After a memorable election campaign, Kemme narrowly lost to Kutzmutz by ten votes less.
After the separation from Chahed came as a surprise, also in view of the contract extension until 2025 last December, Kutzmutz’s resignation is all the more important and almost seems to be the result of an emotional decision. The club president worked for Turbine for a total of 22 years, seven of them at the head of the traditional club.
It seems that there are differences between the individual board members within the club, which are probably more serious than they appear from the outside. This also fits in with Kutzmutz’s statement that he no longer sees himself in a position to achieve positive things for the club in a responsible position, to organize unconditional and good cooperation with the other responsible persons and to implement common goals. So he has reservations about members that brought him to this step.
The resignation of the president could just be the tip of the iceberg, however, as a look at Turbine’s squad plans for the coming season reveals other major challenges ahead for the club. The contracts of eleven players will expire in the summer, and top performers such as Melissa Kössler and Sara Agrež will also be leaving, as well as long-time captain Isabel Kerschowski, who is retiring.
Possibly the assumption in Potsdam was that if they took part in the Champions League qualification next season, they would still be able to keep players in the summer, which would be a very risky approach. Potsdam has long been considered a less attractive location for professional football given the club’s limited financial resources and poor training conditions, which both Kemme and Kutzmutz recently criticized. In Potsdam you are now faced with difficult tasks that can only be solved if the club concentrates on the essentials again – and pulls together.