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Bayern president hits back at Frankfurt over Kovac signing

April 14, 2018

Frankfurt's head coach Niko Kovac is surrounded by cameras prior the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt in Leverkusen, Germany, Saturday, April 14, 2018. Kovac was announced as new Bayern head coach for next season. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness hit back at criticism from Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic over the signing of Niko Kovac as coach by labeling his comments “quite outrageous.”

Bobic blasted Bayern on Friday for the timing of its announcement that Frankfurt coach Kovac would be switching to Bayern next season, and for not getting in touch beforehand.

Hoeness responded after Bayern’s 5-1 rout of Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday, telling Sky TV, “We deliberately didn’t say anything about it yesterday because we found the comments of Fredi Bobic to be quite outrageous. Firstly, we acted very professionally because we used a clause in the contract of Niko Kovac that he (Bobic) made. That’s very professional.

“Secondly, we thought for a long time about when we should tell the Frankfurters. We could have done it after the season, which would have been normal, but then we said we’d tell them as early as possible so they’d have a chance to find an alternative. If we’d said it in four weeks, we’d have had peace and the Frankfurters the trouble.”

Bobic said Bayern’s announcement about Kovac was a surprise, and the timing was detrimental to his current club at the decisive stage of the season.

“Very annoying, unprofessional and lacking in respect,” Bobic said of Kovac’s switch being made public. “They did their thing and thought of themselves. Not of Eintracht Frankfurt.”

Frankfurt’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League took a blow on Saturday in a 4-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen.

Hoeness refuted Bobic’s suggestion that Bayern gave news of Kovac’s move to the media, and said such claims were “indecent if you don’t know the situation.”

The Bayern president said the club announced Kovac’s signing as soon as the coach agreed to join on a three-year contract.

“We had no interest at all except to protect Eintracht Frankfurt,” Hoeness said.

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