For the second season running, Hamburg had thrown away promotion in the final few weeks, culminating in the embarrassing 5-1 defeat to Sandhausen last weekend.
Hecking’s contract, which expired earlier in the week, would have been extended automatically in the event of promotion, however after extensive talks over the past few days, the two parties have agreed to go their separate ways.
Reports during the week indicated that Hecking and the club management, including CEO Jonas Boldt, had different visions for the club going forward, with Hecking wanting to reinvest in the squad and the club wanting to take a more frugal approach. The comments from those involved on Saturday appearing to confirm this.
“After extensive discussions with Jonas Boldt, among others, I will not continue my work in Hamburg,” said Hecking in a statement. “I would also like to give those responsible the opportunity to take the necessary steps in the post-Corona world and under changed conditions.”
“The bottom line is that we are forced to take a different path. That is how we came to a joint decision,” confirmed Boldt, who added “we have to learn from what we have experienced and develop ourselves further.”
The financial impact of the non-relegation – which could potentially see key sponsors pull out – and coronavirus will give Hecking’s replacement a difficult task in getting the club back to where it thinks it belongs. Dimitrios Grammozis, Tim Walter and Alfred Schreuder are amongst the names already linked with the now-vacant post.