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By ESPN Staff
May 21, 2009

Funkel to leave job as coach of Frankfurt

Eintracht Frankfurt and Friedhelm Funkel will part company at the end of the season, it was announced at a press conference.

Contrary to reports circulating on Wednesday, Funkel has not been sacked and he will remain on the bench for the final game of the season against Hamburg but then he will leave the club at the end of the month.

He revealed he himself had asked for his contract to be terminated.

"I spoke with (club chairman) Heribert Bruchhagen on Monday and requested that my contract be terminated on June 30," said Funkel.

After spending the afternoon in talks with his fellow board members, Bruchhagen then accepted his resignation, leaving Funkel out of a job next season while no new coach has yet been contacted to take over at the Bundesliga side.

"Of course I will do the last game of the season against Hamburg and then I will go on holiday and think about what to do," added Funkel.

The 55-year-old took over in charge of the club on July 1, 2004, and only recently put pen to paper on a new deal until 2010 after a difficult first half of the season in which he was under pressure.

Frankfurt were languishing at the foot of the table and Funkel was given an ultimatum to turn things around last December, which he did with a sequence of positive results.

However, a dip in form since signing that new deal in February has seen the club slip closer to the relegation zone and their safety has only just been mathematically confirmed.

Saturday's game at the Waldstadion will now be Funkel's 170th and last as coach of Frankfurt.

Former Bayer Leverkusen and Galatasaray coach Michael Skibbe is believed to be the number one candidate to take over next season with ex-Schalke boss Mirko Slomka also in the running.

However, Bruchhagen was unable to comment on who would be in charge of the club next season.

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