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Power struggle at VfB Stuttgart turns ugly

Thomas Hitzelsperger, the former Aston Villa, Everton and West Ham midfielder who is currently Head of Sport at VfB Stuttgart, has launched a stinging attack on the club President, Claus Vogt, and stated his intention to stand directly against him when he stands for re-election next March.

Despite a very successful 2020, durung which Stuttgart secured promotion back to the Bundesliga and made an excellent start to their campaign back in the top flight, currently lying in 7th place, there has been considerable disquiet behind the scenes. The picture Hitzelsperger paints is one of Vogt driving the club towards financial and sporting ruin as he cares solely about himself and his own image.

The former midfielder had the most successful period of his career at VfB, being part of the team that won the Bundesliga title in 2007, during which time he became a regular in the German national side. After retiring in 2013 he joined the the club’s management structure and has risen very quickly to his current position. His credentials in terms of credibility with supporters is therefore spot on.

Vogt has only been in office a year and it is clear that the two cannot work together. having already had issues over the contract extension offered to the coach Pellegrino Matarazzo . As President, a largely executive rather than operational position, Vogt seems to enjoy taking too much interest in the day to day sporting operations, and publicising the fact, something which should be in Hitzelsperger’s remit. However he is proving popular with the fans, perhaps unsurprisingly given the positive results on the pitch his since arrival.

The power struggle threatens to roll on until the two go head to head in the election on 18th March. Vfb Stuttgart clearly isn't big enough for both of them.

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