May 11, 2014 / 2:26 PM / 5 years ago

Soccer-Coach Tuchel leaves Mainz, contract unclear

BERLIN, May 11 (Reuters) - Mainz 05 coach Thomas Tuchel stepped down on Sunday after five years in charge and after the team qualified for a Europa League spot but the club said the status of his contract was unclear.

Tuchel informed the team of his decision to leave after Saturday’s 3-2 win over Hamburg SV that secured seventh place in the Bundesliga and a spot in the playoff stage of Europe’s second-tier club competition.

“We would have liked if that happened in 2015. This is a difficult situation for Mainz,” sports director Christian Heidel told a news conference on Sunday, surprisingly announcing the coach’s departure.

He said Tuchel had informed Mainz that he did not want to continue past this season at the beginning of the year, indicating that he did not believe he could progress the club any further.

Tuchel, 40, is contracted until the end of June 2015.

Mainz are one of the poorer clubs in the league with their annual budget a fraction of the bigger Bundesliga teams and Tuchel had been showered with praise for his achievements in the past season.

“We are ready and prepared to find a solution but we are not prepared to cancel the contract,” said Heidel. “Contracts are not cancelled at Mainz.”

“We should leave emotions out of it and set down together to find a solution,” he added.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Josh Reich

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