GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP)Schalke was plunged into more turmoil on Wednesday as the sporting director credited with its promotion back to the Bundesliga left abruptly citing personal reasons.

Schalke is last in the Bundesliga and on a run of six losses in all competitions. It’s been without a head coach since Frank Kramer was fired last week. In recent days, sporting director Rouven Schroder had told German media he hoped to have a new coach in place this week and had outlined intentions for new signings in January. Now Schroder too is gone.

Schalke said Schroder had told the board he wanted to quit for personal reasons. A club statement quoted Schroder as saying the decision was ”anything but an easy one.” Peter Knabel, who has the title of board member for sport, will take over Schroder’s duties until further notice.

The club praised Schroder’s work rebuilding the squad last season to be promoted at the first attempt after relegation in 2020-21 on a shoestring budget.

”This unique success story despite extremely difficult financial circumstances will never be forgotten,” CEO Bernd Schroder said.

There was no immediate word on whether the search for a new coach might be affected. Assistant Matthias Kreutzer took charge for the 2-1 loss at Hertha Berlin on Sunday following Kramer’s departure.

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