VIENNA, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The upheaval at Austrian
champions Salzburg continued on Thursday when the club banished
five foreign players from the first team squad.
Brazilian trio Douglas, Cristiano and Leonardo, Swede Rasmus
Lindgren and the Uruguayan Joaquin Boghossian were told they
would be training with reserve team FC Liefering, who play in
the third tier, until they found new clubs.
"They won't have any more part to play for us," sporting
director Ralf Rangnick told reporters. "It doesn't make any
sense to have a 30-man squad."
Salzburg, taken over by the Red Bull energy drinks
manufacturer in 2005, have been criticised in the past few years
for the high turnover of players and coaches and for lacking a
The close-season also saw Ricardo Muniz resign as coach
after only two days of pre-season training and replaced by Roger
Schmidt, previously with German second division side Paderborn,
while Rangnick was also hired.
Thirteen players, including the five named on Thursday, have
left the club or been told they have no future there, while 11
have been signed, including five on transfer deadline day.
The new players included two Norwegians, two Brazilians, one
Slovakian, one Senegalese, one Ghanaian and one Nigerian.
"Without wanting to take anything away, the team only won
the title last season because nobody else wanted it," said
Rangnick, who also criticised the standard of the Austrian
"How many players from the Austrian league took part in the
World Cup qualifier between Austria and Germany (on Tuesday)?
None," he said.
Red Bull's financial backing has allowed Salzburg to
dominate domestic football, winning the Bundesliga four times in
the past six seasons.
But the dream of qualifying for the Champions League group
stage has eluded them, and this season's attempt ended with a
second qualifying round defeat to Luxembourg part-timers F91
Disillusioned fans have formed a breakaway club, playing in
the traditional violet and under the original name of Austria
Salzburg, which is now in the third tier.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Stephen Wood)