Di Matteo leaves Schalke after disappointing season

Reuters , Tuesday 26 May 2015

Roberto Di Matteo
Former Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo, of Italy (Photo: AP)

Schalke 04 coach Roberto Di Matteo left the club on Tuesday after the Italian said a difference of opinion over plans for next season made it impossible for him to see out the remainder of his contract to 2017.

The former Chelsea coach took over the Ruhr valley side in October but ended a disappointing Bundesliga campaign in sixth place, failing to achieve his own stated target of securing a place in next season's Champions League.

"(Director of sport) Horst Heldt and myself did not only discuss the past seven months but also next season," Di Matteo said in a club statement.

"I offered a plan for a possible successful future and what the conditions for that would need to be. It became clear that the club had a different emphasis."

Di Matteo, who led Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2012, said that due to their differences, it was better for both the club and himself to part ways and start afresh.

"This is why I decided to resign from my position as head coach," he said.

Club officials added that at no point was Di Matteo sacked or forced to leave as several German media reports claimed after Saturday's 2-0 loss against Hamburg SV in the season finale.

"Reports on Sunday that he was sacked did not correspond to facts," Heldt said. 

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