Bayern Munich have pledged Yannis Christopoulos their full support as new head coach of the Beko BBL team one day after Dirk Bauermann was sacked less than a week before the season was about to start.
The 38-year-old Greek coach Christopoulos was given reins of Bayern after serving last season and this pre-season as Bauermann’s assistant coach.
“In the current situation in which we are in, it’s the perfect solution. I have full faith in Yannis Christopoulos that he can implement the ideas that he has in the short term and prepare the team for the upcoming games,” said Bayern sports director Marko Pesic.
“At no time was there another option and Yannis was the only option we looked at, at this time.”
Here my chat with Sal Mitha of SporteagleTV, who was at the Bayern press conference
Christopoulos was head coach in Greece and Cyprus from 2004 to 2011, leading Greek sides Apollon Patras, AEL Larissa, AEP Olimpias Patron and AS Trikalia as well as Cypriot clubs Proteas EKA AEL and APOEL BC. He won the Cyprus league crown in 2010 and reached the EuroChallenge quarterfinals and was Cyprus regular season champions in 2011.
“Now we have to do everything we can to support Yannis Christopoulos with 100 per cent to implement what is needed to prepare this season. He has a high acceptance within the team and the necessary authority,” said Pesic at a press conference in Munich.
Christopoulos and Pesic are now looking for an assistant coach as Bauermann’s right hand man Dennis Wucherer was also released.
“We want to give Yannis the opportunity to find the best possible partner in this difficult situation, to push this project forward,” said Pesic.
“I have a couple of ideas about who that can be, but Yannis will need to find the right person for him.”
The journalists on hand drilled Pesic as well as vice president Bernd Rauch about the reasons for the Bauermann firing.
“This decision was very difficult, especially considering the collaboration we had and the success we had. Yesterday we had an intensive talk, the president (Uli Hoeness), the sports director (Pesic), and I and analyzed the situation. And we came to the agreement that the experience from the last few months – both in the public and what happened on the court – led to differing judgments. And that it would be better to part ways,” said Rauch.
Rauch said there was not one instance that led to the firing but one issue addressed was disciplinary questions, including an unauthorized night on the town by Bayern players Chevon Troutman, Jared Homan and Tyrese Rice following Munich’s recent test game against Alba Berlin. Homan was detained by Munich police last winter late night but did not face any disciplinary action and his contract was extended two years.
“We want the players to have FC Bayern in their hearts and we demand them to present themselves in that manner in the public. And we told them that in the locker room yesterday,” said Rauch.
The Bayern vice president reiterated that Hoeness remains supportive of the basketball project, which started during the summer of 2010.
“The president is 100 percent behind this project and supports everything we are doing,” said Rauch.
Rauch said Bauermann’s work was very highly respected.
“The project Bayern basketball could only have been started in the difficult situation and with a vision for the future with Dirk Bauermann on board. He earns a lot of respect. We went through a lot of highs and lows together,” said Rauch.
“We have to look into the future about where we want to lead this project and we agreed that a change was needed.”
Bauermann, meanwhile, told the German sports news agency SID that he was “fully surprised” with the decision.
“I have to gather myself and sort things out and find my bearings,” Bauermann told SID.
When asked if there was a reason for his firing, the nine-time German league champion said: “I cannot say anything to that at the moment. I have to refrain from that. I have not even been relieved of my duties in writing. Maybe I will talk at a later point.”