A-League powerhouse Melbourne Victory has axed head coach Marco Kurz after just 13 games in charge.
The decision comes following a controversial 3-2 defeat to the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday where Kurz was sent off for abusing the fourth official.
The red card is believed to be the final straw for the Victory board, following a disappointing start to the A-League season which has left the side on their equal lowest points tally after 13 games (15 points, equal with 2007/08 and 2001/12).
Melbourne Victory currently sit in sixth on the ladder, the final finals position, but a whopping 19 points behind fierce rivals Sydney FC.
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The 50-year-old German joined Victory in June 2019 following two seasons in charge of Adelaide United, replacing Victory’s long-time manager Kevin Muscat.
In his 13 A-League games in charge, Kurz guided Victory to four wins, three draws and six losses – a new Victory record for the most losses after 13 games of a season.
He was under pressure some weeks ago following a run of poor results, but appeared to have turned things around in recent rounds, despite a host of injuries to key players including Tim Hoogland, Socceroos Andrew Nabbout and Robbie Kruse, as well as captain Ola Toivonen.
A goalless draw with Wellington Phoenix in Round 10 was followed by a 2-1 derby win over Melbourne City, currently second in the league.
Round 12 saw Victory notch their biggest win under Kurz, a 4-0 demolition of Newcastle Jets.
But Victory’s disappointing collapse from 2-1 up against the Mariners, following two stoppage-time penalties, saw Victory’s run halted – and Kurz out the door.
The decision comes as part of a radical overhaul of the playing roster, after Fox Sports revealed yesterday that former winger Marco Rojas is set to return to the club.
As Tara Rushton yesterday reported, fullback Corey Brown is set to exit the club as well as Austrian forward Kristijan Dobras – the pair departing in order to free up space for the former Johnny Warren Medallist.
Fox Football reporter Adam Peacock said the decision to part ways with the veteran manager is ‘massive’.
“It’s a bit of a bombshell really.”
Assistant coach Filip Tapalovic is also expected to depart, while second assistant manager Carlo Salvachua – brought in by Muscat in 2018 – will take over until the end of the campaign.
During his time at Adelaide, Kurz led the Reds to the 2017 FFA Cup final, losing 2-1 to Sydney FC in extra time. The next season Adelaide beat Sydney 2-1 to claim their second FFA Cup title.
Remarkably, Kurz’s 13 game stint is not his shortest tenure at a club. Before signing for Adelaide in 2017, Kurz was sacked by German side Fortuna Dusseldorf after just seven games in charge, winning just one game in that time.
Before that stint, Kurz lasted just 11 matches at FC Ingolstadt and 10 games at 1899 Hoffenheim.