The 1. FC Köln board have signed Horst Heldt as Sporting Managing Director with immediate effect. Heldt has signed a contract until June 2021. Along with that, FC have found a new head coach in Markus Gisdol. He has signed a contract until 30th June 2021, which is only valid for the Bundesliga. With this, the sporting leadership has been newly aligned in the big to achieve the goal of staying up.
FC President, Werner Wolf said: “We have taken the necessary time to find the right people to take charge of our sporting leadership, who have the backing of the club. In our current situation, we need a sporting director with experience, who doesn’t just know the league but also 1. FC Köln and the environment and fully identifies with the task. All this applies to Horst Heldt. He has proven in his past managerial posts that he can plan squads, lead teams and can adjust to changing situations. We are along positive, that Horst Heldt will work well with Alexander Wehrle and Frank Aehlig.”
Horst Heldt said: “FC is not just any job for me. I return to the club where I began as a professional footballer and one which I tie a lot of memories to. The situation isn’t easy but it also isn’t as bad as it is sometimes portrayed at the moment. 1. FC Köln is professionally set up and has huge potential. I will do everything to make sure that FC achieves its goals and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
Heldt won the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart as Sporting Director in 2007, and was also a DFB-Pokal winner with FC Schalke 04 in 2011. Heldt started his playing career with FC in the youth academy after being born in Königswinter. He played at FC for five years before moving onto 1860 Munich.
With the search for a new head coach, FC have decided to appoint Markus Gisdol. The 50-year-old brings 148 games of Bundesliga experience with him, at both TSG Hoffenheim and Hamburger SV. Gisdol will be followed by his assistant coach Frank Kaspari, with a decision to be made about the remaining set-up of the coaching staff.
“Markus was one of the coaches on my list from the start, as someone who I completely trust to stabilse our team and to secure the necessary wins,” said Frank Aehlig, director of football. “Markus is an experienced coach and has proven in his previous clubs, that he can help a team in such a situation and give the team the correct impulse. He is stress-resistant and knows the ever-changing environment from his time in Hamburg. He has also shown his ability to develop teams and players in the first-team and youth academy.”
Markus Gisdol said, “Köln is a top club in German football. The current situation is not easy, but I know these challenges and I am totally convinced, that we can overcome these. I want to help the team as quickly as possible, to come back to their undoubted potential.”