1. FC Union Berlin and their head coach Urs Fischer are going their separate ways with immediate effect. The joint decision was taken by Union president Dirk Zingler and Fischer in person during a meeting on Monday afternoon.
Urs Fischer took over as head coach of the professional men's team of 1. FC Union Berlin on 1. July 2018 where, alongside his long-standing co-coach Markus Hoffmann, the whole coaching and support team, the squad and the entire club, the Swiss trainer has written a unique sporting success story.
After gaining promotion to the Bundesliga in their first season together, the team then confidently stayed in the top flight. In the following three seasons, Fischer then led the team to seventh, fifth and fourth placed finishes, qualifying for the UEFA Conference League, Europa League and ultimately the Champions League competitions for the first time in the club's history.
Fischer therefore goes down as the most successful coach in Union’s history. He has repeatedly received awards for his work in Berlin and was voted "Coach of the Year" in the summer of 2023 by assorted football magazines, players as well as his fellow coaches. Fischer was in charge of 1. FC Union Berlin’s first team in a total of 224 competitive matches.
"I recently made it clear that Urs Fischer is an outstanding coach, and I remain absolutely convinced of that,” explained Union president, Zingler, on the joint decision. “His personality and his successful work have characterised our club in recent years and opened many new opportunities for us. In the five and a half years that we have worked together, we have developed a respect and trust for each other that has enabled us to always exchange ideas openly and honestly. Together, we have now come to the conclusion that the time has come to take a different path."
"This is a very sad moment for not only for me personally, but certainly for the entire Union family,” he continued. “It hurts that we have not managed to break the negative run of recent weeks. I am grateful and proud when looking back on the time we have spent and the successes we have celebrated together. As painful as this separation is, Urs Fischer is leaving as a friend who will always be welcomed by us with open arms."
"The last few weeks have cost a lot of strength,” said Fischer, meanwhile. “We've tried a lot, and the team has put in a lot of effort, but it hasn't paid off in terms of results. I am very grateful for the confidence I have always felt here. Nevertheless, it feels right to make a change now. Sometimes a different face, a different way of addressing a team helps to spark a development."
"I've got to know and appreciate an exceptional club in Union. My thanks go to the players I have been able to work with, Markus Hoffmann and my team, the club's management, and staff, as well as the fans. I am very lucky to have experienced this extremely positive kind of support. I wish Union all the best and am convinced that they will manage to stay in the league."
"Urs Fischer has achieved extraordinary things at Union and taken the club to a whole new sporting level,” said Union’s director of men’s professional football, Oliver Ruhnert. “I would like to thank Urs for his commitment, and for the respectful and trusting cooperation that has connected us over a long period of time in the football business. On behalf of everyone in the professional players' department, I wish him all the best personally and continued professional success."
Together with Fischer, assistant coach Markus Hoffmann is also leaving 1. FC Union Berlin. Union U19 coach Marco Grote will be in charge of the team as interim coach until further notice. The 51-year-old will be supported by assistant coach Marie-Louise Eta.