Schalke boss Tillmann: “Several profiles” for Hechelmann’s successor

“Full trust” in Wilmots


While FC Schalke 04 got back on track last weekend with a 3-1 win over league leaders St. Pauli, the surprising dismissal of technical director André Hechelmann off the pitch caused renewed unrest during the week. CEO Matthias Tillmann now commented on the decision beyond his statements in Wednesday’s press release and spoke about the profiles of possible successors.

Schalke officially announced the separation of Hechelmann, who was demoted to technical director with the arrival of sports director Marc Wilmots in January, on Wednesday (background). Quite a few critical voices attribute the fact that the Royal Blues are playing against relegation in the 2nd Bundesliga this season to Hechelmann’s squad planning for the summer of 2023. Of the transfers made at the time (for an overview), only Marius Müller, Derry Murkin and Tomas Kalas were able to satisfactorily meet expectations; players like Timo Baumgartl and Bryan Lasme are still chasing them. “The timing may be surprising for many, but for me it is consistent. Planning for the new season has already begun, and important decisions will be made in the coming weeks and months. “We want to move forward with planning for the summer with the people who will ultimately be responsible,” CEO Tillmann was quoted as saying in the “WAZ” with a view to the separation from Hechelmann.

As a reason for the timing, the 40-year-old added: “André, Marc and I sat down at the beginning of the year and said that the full focus should be on the winter transfer phase and that we would then regularly see how things work in the new constellation. As a result, André and we now agreed that with today’s knowledge it makes more sense to go our separate ways.”

Former Frankfurt talent scout Ben Manga has been considered a potential candidate for his successor in recent days (see current article). Tillmann did not comment on the personnel, but outlined the requirements profile defined in the course of the search for a successor. “There is not one profile for the successor, there are several profiles that we have outlined. Now we have to answer a few questions: Who is available, who is interesting for Schalke, what are his ideas – all of this will influence to a certain extent how the role is defined in the end.” Hechelmann’s tasks include squad planning Loan player support, recruitment and scouting, among other things, should initially be spread across several shoulders: “We are well positioned to push forward with short-term issues, especially squad planning. For example, Marc Wilmots and I had a good conversation this week with our chief scout Chris Kresse, who will now take on a larger role. We will continue to implement our plan consistently – regardless of the replacement. We have full confidence in the existing team around Marc.”

Ostseestadion in top 5: stadium occupancy in the 2nd Bundesliga

18 Contractions Wiesbaden | Occupancy: 61.2%

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BRITA Arena | Capacity: 15,295 | Average: 9,365
Status: After the 24th matchday 2023/24

17 Hertha BSC | Occupancy: 62%

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Olympic Stadium Berlin | Capacity: 74,667 | Average: 46,301

16 Fortuna Dusseldorf | Occupancy: 67.8%

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Merkur Game Arena | Capacity: 54,600 | Average: 37,023

15 1. FC Nuremberg | Occupancy: 69.1%

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Max Morlock Stadium | Capacity: 50,000 | Average: 34,560

14 Greuther Fürth | Occupancy: 69.9%

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Sports Park Ronhof Thomas Sommer | Capacity: 16,626 | Average: 11,627

13 Hannover 96 | Occupancy: 72.2%

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Heinz von Heiden Arena | Capacity: 49,000 | Average: 35,367

12 Karlsruher SC | Occupancy: 74.9%

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BBBank Wildlife Park | Capacity: 34,302 | Average: 25,704

11 1. FC Magdeburg | Utilization: 81.2%

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MDCC Arena | Capacity: 30,098 | Average: 24,442

10 SC Paderborn | Utilization: 86.4%

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Home Deluxe Arena | Capacity: 15,000 | Average: 12,963

9 entry Braunschweig | Utilization: 87.4%

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Eintracht Stadium | Capacity: 23,325 | Average: 20,380

8 SV Elversberg | Utilization: 87.9%

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Ursapharm Arena at the Kaiserlinde | Capacity: 10,000 | Average: 8,789

7 1. FC Kaiserslautern | Utilization: 88.2%

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Fritz Walter Stadium | Capacity: 49,350 | Average: 43,512

6 Holstein Kiel | Utilization: 89.2%

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Holstein Stadium | Capacity: 15,034 | Average: 13,409

5 Hansa Rostock | Utilization: 89.5%

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Baltic Sea Stadium | Capacity: 29,000 | Average: 25,963

4 VfL Osnabruck | Utilization: 96.3%

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Bremen Bridge | Capacity: 16,100 | Average: 15,508

3 Hamburger SV | Utilization: 97.6%

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Volksparkstadion | Capacity: 57,000 | Average: 55,649

2 FC Schalke 04 | Utilization: 98.6%

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Veltins Arena | Capacity: 62,271 | Average: 61,421

1 FC St. Pauli | Utilization: 99.6%

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Millerntor Stadium | Capacity: 29,546 | Average: 29,418

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