Adi Hütter is stepping down in Frankfurt at the height - as so often in his career
Photo: Frey-Pressebild / Deines / imago / Thomas Frey
Anyone from Frankfurt who is currently seven points ahead of fifth on the table can dream: of the Champions League, of a game at FC Barcelona, of Liverpool as a guest.
But if Eintracht returns to the premier class more than 60 years after their last game so far, the coach who made this success possible will no longer be on the sidelines.
Adi Hütter leaves the club in the direction of Mönchengladbach.
A decision for sofa and against the Champions League - with currently 13 points behind Eintracht, the Gladbachers will have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off in the coming season.
Hütter (left) will work with Max Eberl (right) in Mönchengladbach until at least summer 2024
Photo: Marius Becker / dpa
And yet a decision that is logical.
When Hütter has got the apparent maximum out of a club, he moves on.
That's how he's always done it in his career.
This has an irritatingly unsentimental effect on outsiders, even for the tough business of professional football, but so far this approach has always paid off for the 51-year-old.
With the Austrian provincial club SV Grödig he was promoted to the first division in 2012/2013, in the following year the team sensationally reached the qualifying round for the Europa League in third place - and Hütter went to Salzburg.
There he won the double, participation in the Champions League beckoned.
But because he no longer saw the sporting quality after the departure of Péter Gulácsi, Stefan Ilsanker and others, he agreed to split up with sports director Ralf Rangnick.
Same game at Young Boys Bern: With the Swiss he won the first championship in 32 years - and left the club for Frankfurt.
The 14-time Austrian international never stayed at a station for more than three years.
Hütter is more open to new options than others because of a "missed opportunity", as he once explained: As a player, he did not take the risk of moving abroad, a trauma that has accompanied Hütter since then: "Out of the comfort zone," like him always called it public whenever possible.
In the end, it will also have been three years at Eintracht Frankfurt.
During this time, Eintracht, which Hütter took over from Niko Kovac who had moved to Munich, played enthusiastic football, reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, and is about to reach the premier class.
But Hütter's emotional wages are too low in consideration of the uncertainties that are waiting for the club: Sports director Bruno Hübner's departure has been certain for a long time, sports director Fredi Bobic is drawn to Hertha BSC.
His departure is inevitable, only the transfer is still being haggled.
And what about the top performers?
Top scorer André Silva arouses desires across Europe, as does the outstanding Filip Kostic.
Hut already had to compensate for the departures of the dream attack Luka Jovic, Ante Rebic and Sébastien Haller.
Without Bobic by his side, he probably didn't see the repetition of this show of strength as likely.
"Always strive for higher things," said Hütter as a requirement in an interview a few years ago.
It doesn't get any higher with unity.
Expectable environment instead of risk
Instead, Hütter chooses what made him work very well in Frankfurt for three years: a stable environment.
Gladbach's sports director Max Eberl has been in office for almost 13 years.
The contract of the undisputed maker with the five-time German champions was only recently extended until mid-2026.
In addition, the quality of the squad that Hütter will find is right.
With this he is expected to be better off than his predecessor Marco Rose in the coming season.
An expectation of "more" that he no longer saw filled with life in Eintracht.
His future ex-club will not be comforted by the rumored 7.5 million euros as a transfer fee.
According to information from the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, these had been negotiated into Hütter's contract, which was extended to June 30, 2023 last autumn.
In return, he received a release clause.
The statement made at the end of February "I'm staying!" - unfulfilled.
Hütter has drawn the exit clause.
Incapacity to act at unity
As rosy as the current sporting situation at Eintracht is, it is now suddenly delicate at management level.
The search for a new coach is the responsibility of the sports directorate.
But the Frankfurters have to find one first.
This in turn falls under the responsibility of the supervisory board to head Philip Holzer.
Time is running out.
The season will be over in less than six weeks, now the upcoming season has to be prepared.
The worst possible time for incapacity to act.
Eintracht can be encouraged by a look at Hütter's previous stations: Salzburg repeated his successes even without Hütter, the Young Boys from Bern also maintained their level and were able to win the title in 2019 and 2020.
In 2021 they are still missing a win from eight games.
Only SV Grödig, where Hütter's successful coaching career began after he had not previously looked after SCR Altach with the desired success, should not be taken as a model: The club now plays in the Salzburg Regionalliga and measures itself against such illustrious clubs as USK Maximarkt Anif and TSV McDonald's St. Johann. Then first of all Messi's Barcelona and Liverpool FC.