His resignation came as a complete surprise to the board of SV Meppen. On Wednesday evening, the former Bundesliga coach Ernst Middendorp announced the end of the cooperation after only three season games as coach of the third division relegated team. The 64-year-old announced the end immediately after the 2-1 defeat at SSV Jeddeloh II in the North Regional Football League.

His resignation suits a coach who was always headstrong and therefore enjoys a certain cult status among fans. The 64-year-old quickly declared his team to be a bunch of “amateurs” who behaved completely unprofessionally. Middendorp told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”: “I have informed the team that I am not suitable for making amateurs work. We basically do not manage to behave professionally. This is not my world. I work no 15 hours a day to ultimately animate anything. I’m not an animator.”

Middendorp coached Arminia Bielefeld three times in his career and led the club from the regional league to the Bundesliga in the 1990s. After stints in South Africa, China and Thailand, among others, he took over SV Meppen in March, but was unable to prevent relegation from the 3rd division despite a strong final spurt.