Matthaus to leave Netanya at end of season

German soccer legend asked to be released from contract due to team's financial situation.

lothar matthaus 224 88 (photo credit: AP)
lothar matthaus 224 88
(photo credit: AP)
Coach Lothar Matthaus will leave Maccabi Netanya at the end of the season despite having another year left on his contract. The German soccer legend met with Maccabi owner Daniel Jammer recently and the two decided to cut their partnership short after a less than successful season and an uncertain future. Jammer told Matthaus that he will not be given the financial resources he had expected to receive ahead of next season and the captain of the 1990 German World Cup winning team asked to be released from his contract. "I heard about Netanya's situation from Jammer and... [therefore] it was more than fair to agree with him to finish the contract at the end of the season," said Matthaus, who agreed to leave without compensation. "Money is not so important. I have here friends and I had a very nice time in Netanya. "We didn't record the greatest results, but we sometimes made our fans happy. My plan was to stay until 2010, but because of the financial crisis I think it's better for Netanya to invest the money in a stadium, training facilities or in a new player instead of giving me so much money." After finishing the last two seasons in second position under the guidance of Reuven Atar, Netanya has struggled in comparison this season and is currently in fourth position, nine points behind top-of-the-table Maccabi Haifa. Netanya will play Haifa in the State Cup semifinals on May 13.