Bluewings’ bungling manager Cha steps downSuwon Bluewings manager Cha Bum-kun stepped down from his post yesterday.
The 57-year-old, who is in his seventh season with the Bluewings, had been the target of fans’ frustrations as the team struggles with the league-worst record of two wins, one draw and eight losses this season.
“I will manage the team until June 6 and will take a break,” Cha said at a press conference. “I was tempted to continue to lead this team but thought it would be the irresponsible and dishonest thing to do. I will continue to root for Suwon from the stands. I want to thank the Suwon staff and supporters.”
Cha took over the club in December 2003 and had some success, winning league titles in 2004 and 2008 as well as championships in 2005 and 2008 and an FA Cup title in 2009.
But his luck began to change for the worse last season when the team finished 10th overall in league standings. The Bluewings have continued to struggle this season. When Suwon lost its fifth consecutive match to Gangwon FC, 1-2, on April 24, Cha was heavily criticized by fans. At that point, Cha said he was willing to step down from his position if the team was looking to hire a new manager. Although Suwon defeated Beijing Guoan 2-0 on May 11 to advance to the AFC Champions League quarterfinals, Cha decided to take full responsibility for the team’s struggles this season.
Cha is considered one of the greatest football players Korea has ever produced. During his playing days in the German Bundesliga between 1978 and 1989 with SV Darmstadt 98, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer 04 Levekusen, he scored 98 goals in 308 matches. Cha also won two UEFA Champions League titles during his playing days and managed the 1998 France World Cup squad.
By Choi Won-chang [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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