Kaizer Chiefs have parted ways with German coach Ernst Middendorp, the club confirmed on Wednesday.
Middendorp had Chiefs at the top of the Absa Premiership table for much of the season, but could not see them to the title as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Baroka FC on the final day of the campaign, allowing Mamelodi Sundowns to pip them to the title.
Chiefs said they had taken the decision of a “thorough review” by owner Kaizer Motaung as the club’s trophyless run now stretches past five years.
Chiefs at one stage held a 13-point lead in the league this past season, but won just two of their matches in the bio-bubble after the resumption of the campaign and let their advantage slip.
“We deliberated and considered many aspects related to the team, including our way of playing, our performances and the results before coming to the decision,” Motaung told the club’s website.
“We truly believed and hoped that our 50th anniversary year would be better, and it indeed looked promising. The decision taken is part of a strategy to have the team win trophies again and to make our supporters happy because they deserve better.
“After giving the coach and the technical team the ammunition required to compete in the new season, there were some improvements, and this was evident during the first seven months of this 2019/2020 season.
“However, when the league restarted post-lockdown, things changed, and we looked a totally different side in our last eight league matches. We witnessed some heart-stopping performances and we were overtaken on the log in the last game of the season, which truly broke our hearts.
“We have to take responsibility – we can’t wait and allow this situation to continue.”
Middendorp took charge of Chiefs for a second spell in December 2018 and was in charge for 61 matches in all, winning 29 to go with 12 draws and 17 defeats.