Matthias Kreutzer will temporarily take over the job of coach at second division club FC Schalke 04. He already knows that. Even before Thomas Reis was hired, Kreutzer helped out as a short-term boss. That was in October of last year, after the club’s management fired Frank Kramer. He was only in office for around three months at the time because the Schalke supporters vehemently rejected him from the start and the team had a catastrophic start to the season. The disastrous phase under Kramer laid the foundation for relegation, as Schalke did not make up the lost points under successor Reis, even if the results improved. Now Reis is also history and joins the seemingly endless list of failed Schalke coaches.

Kreutzer has experienced eight bosses alone since he became assistant coach in 2019. No other club has such a wear and tear on trainers, even Hamburger SV is now downright reputable, in contrast to the Royal Blues. In the industry, Schalke therefore operates as FC Schleudersitz 04.

This is exactly what could increasingly become a problem because not many coaches are willing to take on the job at Schalke. The trade magazine “Kicker” reports that people in the industry tend to shake their heads as soon as the name of the club is mentioned. The negative impression is reinforced by the colorless club management, which has contributed to the current chaos. First, sports director André Hechelmann and sports director Peter Knäbel suspended the player Timo Baumgartl because he had criticized the coach’s tactics in a TV interview. Days later, they fired the coach because the relationship with the team was broken and Schalke was in a relegation spot after seven match days. There is better conflict management than the Royal Blues are displaying these days.

Another factor makes finding a coach more difficult than it used to be: money. After the corona pandemic and two relegations within two years, the coffers are tight and Schalke can no longer afford every coach. Reis, who has just been fired, paid part of his transfer fee to VfL Bochum last year, around 300,000 euros, out of his own pocket.

Nevertheless, names are being traded for Reis’ successor. One of them is Sandro Schwarz, who knows sports director Hechelmann from their days in Mainz. However, whether Black is interested in the ejector seat is another question. Last year, Schwarz failed at Hertha BSC Berlin, a similarly dysfunctional club. Hertha fired him after they plummeted to bottom of the table with Black. In the end, Hertha was also relegated as bottom of the table.

As a precautionary measure, Knäbel and Hechelmann have announced that they will take their time looking for a coach. That sounds serious and like a well thought-out plan. Perhaps the announcement is due to the fact that there are only a few candidates. Or those responsible at Schalke are hoping for an internal solution. Both Kreutzer and club legend Mike Büskens are considered competent enough to take on the job. Büskens – as interim coach – even led the team back into the Bundesliga last year. However, neither of them wants to be head coaches, as they have made it abundantly clear. They know only too well that it would only be a very short engagement at Schalke.

Sources: “kicker”, “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, “Der Westen”, “Sportschau”.