Wolfsburg has issued an official statement saying that Felix Magath will leave the club on June 30th of this year. Magath is bound for Schalke as has been rumored all week, although we still await confirmation from the Gelsenkirchen side.
While many claims have been made by the press about Magath’s salary demands, it wasn’t the salary as much as the recession that caused this move. Volkswagon, like all car makers, are facing tough times and are being forced to lay off workers. With a tightening of the belt at the renowned car maker, it wasn’t possible for VW to eliminate jobs and then pay large sums for football players. That’s unfortunate when you have the only English-style gaffer in the league and he has a transfer policy that would put Harry Redknapp to shame. While in charge of the Wolves for only two seasons, Magath has amassed 30+ transactions in what is essentially 18 months. While there is no arguing with his method and one can see he has an eye for talent (Gentner, Dzeko, Grafite, Misomivic), his ability to continue tweaking his team was done.
With rumors that Grafite and Dzeko were being lined up by uber-rich Zenit and Arsenal, respectively, it seems there may have been some truth to these links as the club were seeking to cash in. Magath realizing that he wouldn’t be able to significantly alter his club in its first campaign in the Champions League, decided to move on to a club where transfers wouldn’t be an issue. The salary was just a shot across the bow to set this series of events in motion.
Schalke, and not Bayern, will be the big spenders this summer. Can Magath do for them, what he has done for Wolfsburg? I imagine so.