Kaizer Chiefs continued their backroom staff overhaul with the release of assistant coach Shaun Bartlett, who was let go on Thursday 10 September.
Middendorp was left carrying the bag after Kaizer Chiefs blew a ten-point advantage in the PSL title race, slipping from first on the final day of the season in heartbreaking fashion for the Amakhosi faithful.
Kaizer Chiefs release Bartlett
It is apparent that whoever will replace Middendorp at head coach may want to bring in their own right-hand man to fill the role of assistant.
“Kaizer Chiefs Chairman Kaizer Motaung, the Board of Directors and the club’s management would like to further announce that they have agreed to an early termination of assistant coach Shaun Bartlett’s contract,” A statement of the club’s website reads.
“The decision to release Bartlett follows that of Amakhosi and head coach Ernst Middendorp going their separate ways yesterday.
“We would like to once again thank both gentlemen for their service to Kaizer Chiefs over the last 21 months,” comments Chairman Kaizer Motaung.
“We wish Shaun Bartlett all the best in his future endeavours.”
Bartlett and Middendorp can’t end Kaizer Chiefs trophy drought
Bartlett had joined Chiefs alongside Middendorp in December 2018 signing a two and a half year deal that should have run until the end of the 2020/21 season.
The former Bafana Bafana striker has enjoyed two spells as a head coach in South Africa, directing Golden Arrows and Amatuks before accepting a role as assistant to Middendorp.
Bartlett and Middendorp were charged with arresting Kaizer Chiefs slide away from the top joining a club in crisis in 2018. The pair couldn’t keep Chiefs from finishing outside the top eight after a disastrous start to the 2018/19 term. They did however transform the team into genuine title contenders in 2019/20.
Amakhosi let it slip
Under Middendorp Chiefs started the season in stunning fashion and they would lead the PSL for the bulk of the campaign.
A dip in form shortly before the lockdown meant that Mamelodi Sundowns were breathing down their necks when the season restarted.
Kaizer Chiefs needed to find a sprint finish in the bio-bubble but fell just short of holding onto their lead, slipping out of top-spot as a result of a final-day draw against Baroka FC.
The early season results did little to curry Middendorp any favour with the Kaizer Chiefs fans who were often left scratching their heads at the German mentors decisions and the public opinion likely played a big role in displacing Middendorp and Bartlett.