GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany --

Schalke is replacing managing director Horst Heldt with his Mainz counterpart Christian Heidel at the end of the season.

The Bundesliga club says Sunday that its supervisory board approved Heidel's appointment as sports and communication director with effect from the 2016-17 season. The 52-year-old Heidel presented his concept to the board at its extraordinary meeting earlier.

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Schalke chairman Clemens Toennies says ''we're convinced that Christian Heidel is the right man for Schalke with his undisputed competence and experience in sporting matters, his proven leadership and his positive aura.''

The club says Heldt, who has held the position since March 2011, will continue to fulfill his contractual obligations to the end of the season and that ''these of course include, like for the last months, personnel decisions for the new season.''