Hertha Berlin fires coach Babbel

Hertha Berlin fired coach Markus Babbel on table at the winter break.

Babbel, 39, took over at Hertha prior to last season, and lifted the club back to the Bundesliga in his first season in charge. Hertha had four victories and eight draws from its 17 matches to accumulate 20 points.

Although Hertha did not reveal the reason for his dismissal, Babbel previously stated he would not renew his contract, which expired after this season.

"Recent developments, especially those of the past couple of days, left us with no choice. It would no longer have been possible to work together under the existing conditions," Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz said.

"I have a responsibility to protect Hertha from any potential damage."

Assistant coach Rainer Widmayer was named interim manager.