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Why are the Reds interested in Jörg Schmadtke?



Jorg Schmadtke

Jörg Schmadtke is to become sports director at Liverpool FC. But how did this happen and what qualifies the 59-year-old for this job? The most important questions about one of the most surprising reports of the week.

Liverpool FC’s season has not gone well. In the Premier League, the Reds are still worried about participating in the Champions League. Although there have been more victories to celebrate recently, the big minimum goal is still in danger.

Expensive transfers like Darwin Núñez (80 million euros) or Cody Gakpo (42 million euros) have not really paid off yet. And so there are probably changes in the sporting management.

With Jörg Schmadtke, someone who had actually ended his career as a football official could now become sports director. In January of this year he resigned from his post as Managing Director Sport at VfL Wolfsburg and retired. Now, however, the role could follow backwards.

Liverpool FC and Jörg Schmadtke: What is the current status?

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, almost everything is already clear between Liverpool FC and Schmadtke. Accordingly, there was even a commitment from the native of Düsseldorf for the job.

In his new role, he will work with Jürgen Klopp to plan and strengthen the squad of the future. However, the coach should continue to play a central role in the transfer strategy.

Also sports1 previously reported that Schmadtke had become the focus of the Reds. An official confirmation has not yet been received.

Liverpool FC: What has Jörg Schmadtke achieved so far?

If you look at Schmadtke’s career so far, Liverpool’s request comes as a surprise at first. He has worked as an official for four clubs so far: Alemannia Aachen (2001-2008), Hannover 96 (2009-2013), 1. FC Köln (2013-2017), VfL Wolfsburg (2018-2023).

Under his leadership, Aachen sensationally reached the DFB Cup final in 2004 and a year later the sixteenth final of the UEFA Cup. Thanks to the success, the club was debt-free for the first time in a long time. The return to the Bundesliga (2006) and the planning of a new stadium also fell into his era. However, both sides had separated ugly: Schmadtke made it public in a television interview that his contract, which expired in 2009, would not be extended. Aachen put him on leave that same evening with immediate effect.

In his four years at Hannover 96, Schmadtke celebrated similar successes. In 2011, coach Mirko Slomka’s team finished fourth – with a club record of 60 points. In the Europa League, Hannover made it to the quarter-finals the following season. 96 established themselves in the upper midfield of the Bundesliga. For family reasons, however, Schmadtke asked for the contract to be terminated in 2012. First he took a sabbatical, then worked part-time until the end of 2012. In April 2013 the cooperation finally ended.

1. FC Köln was then able to reach the Europa League, among other things, under his sporting direction. Schmadtke was from the magazine 11friends In 2017 he was even named the best manager of the Bundesliga season. After a disastrous start to the season and the threat of relegation, his contract was terminated in October 2017. In Wolfsburg, Schmadtke managed to stabilize the factory club that had crashed. After two years in relegation, VfL finished sixth, seventh and fourth in the Bundesliga between 2019 and 2021.

Liverpool FC: What are Jörg Schmadtke’s biggest transfers?

Even with the largest transfers, the manager’s success profile only emerges at second glance. But then there are some notable deals that Schmadtke brought about. In 2003, for example, he signed Erik Meijer on a free transfer from Hamburger SV. In the second division, the Dutchman was one of the keys to later promotion to the Bundesliga and success in the DFB and UEFA Cups. Jan Schlaudraff was signed in 2005, initially on loan and then for a small fee. He developed so positively in Aachen that he went to Bayern Munich three years later.

At Hannover 96, Schmadtke brought in top performers such as Didier Ya Konan (2009 for 550,000 euros), Mohammed Abdellaoue (2010 for one million euros) and Mame Diouf (2012 for 1.8 million euros). Again and again he succeeded in reselling players for a lot of money and thus filling the coffers.

A prime example of this is the sale of Anthony Modeste to China in 2017, which netted 1. FC Köln at least 25 million euros. But Schmadtke also scored points at Effzeh with transfers from Patrik Helmes (free transfer in 2013) or Modeste, who only cost 4.5 million euros in 2015. In his previous positions, Schmadtke almost always managed to set up the squad relatively quickly so that his clubs were successful or at least stabilized.

That was also due to one or the other good trainer decision. In 2004 he installed Dieter Hecking in Aachen and the decision for Mirko Slomka in Hanover 2010 was spot on. Between 2013 and 2017 Schmadtke worked very successfully with Peter Stöger in Cologne and in Wolfsburg Bruno Labbadia got VfL back on course before Oliver Glasner was able to celebrate success. Even if the cooperation with the Austrian ended in a dispute.

Liverpool FC: Why Joerg Schmadtke?

And yet the question arises as to how a top club like Liverpool came up with the idea of ​​engaging Schmadtke as sporting director. Looking at his CV so far, it is clear that the 59-year-old has done good, sometimes even very good work. But always at a level that cannot be compared to that of the Reds. The manager has not yet been able to prove himself at the highest level.

In addition to sporting reasons, it is always interesting to take a look at the connections and contacts of the parties involved in the football business, as in other sectors. Both Klopp and Schmadtke are considered good friends of Campino and Toten Hosen.

Recently it was reported several times that the two got to know each other more than through the sporting points of contact. However, it is unclear whether this actually played a role in the decision-making process.