Hertha boss admits club in worst crisis of the decade
Hertha Berlin's general manager Michael Preetz has admitted the Bundesliga's capital club is facing its biggest crisis of the last 12 years as they battle to stay afloat.
Despite having challenged for the league title last season, Hertha is currently six points adrift at the foot of the Bundesliga table with just one win - which came on the opening day of the season.
Since then they have lost 11 of their 14 games with two draws before the season's halfway stage, they look set to be relegation candidates at the end of the season next May.
But Preetz, 42, told the club's annual general meeting they can survive again having won promotion to the Bundesliga in 1997.
"Hertha are living through probably the biggest sporting crisis since being promoted to the Bundesliga," said Preetz. "Many have already written us off. But for me, giving up is taboo. We have to stick together. We at Hertha rise again and again. And we will do it this time as well. Seven points need to be made up, but we can still do it."
But Preetz faced hostility throughout the meeting on Monday night from disillusioned Hertha fans and there is little optimism Hertha can avoid relegation from the top flight for the fifth time in the club's history.
The signing of Polish striker Artur Wichniarek from Bielefeld has not been a success, with the forward yet to score a goal this season, but Preetz said there will be €3 million available to sign more players.
Meanwhile Liverpool's Ukraine striker Andrei Voronin has been constantly linked to Hertha since he spent last season on loan in Berlin.
He has failed to fire for the English giants this term and was dropped from the squad for last week's Champions League clash with Hungarian side Debrecen.