Jarstein unilaterally terminated: Why Hertha boss Bobic is playing with fire

In the Jarstein case, Hertha’s managing director Fredi Bobic insists on a unilateral right of termination.Image: www.imago-images.de / Eibner


09/21/2022, 07:1409/21/2022, 08:25

Philipp Kay Koppen

“The contract will be terminated, there is no going back,” Hertha managing director Fredi Bobic announced at Dazn shortly after Hertha goalkeeper Rune Jarstein was suspended. At that time, the Hertha boss still held out the prospect of an amicable termination of the contract: “We talk like reasonable people and try to separate things cleanly at the end of the day.”

That obviously didn’t work out, instead both parties parted ways the “dirty” way. Means: Bobic simply terminated his employee’s contract at the end of November. Jarstein is now suing the Berlin-Brandenburg State Labor Court.

Rune Jarstein has played for Hertha since 2014 and has been between the posts 179 times.

Rune Jarstein has played for Hertha since 2014 and has been between the posts 179 times.Image: www.imago-images.de / nordphoto GmbH

“We separated under labor law while observing a social grace period,” confirmed Bobic to “picture” the dismissal. According to a court spokesman, a so-called quality date has been set for November 1st. This is a last attempt to reach an agreement before the case ends up in the courtroom.

Bobic has to state the reason for termination, the outcome of the legal dispute is unclear

Like any employer who wants to unilaterally terminate an employee before the contract deadline, Bobic will have to provide good reasons for the dismissal. Jarstein’s original suspension came after a dispute with goalkeeping coach Andreas Menger. The exact wording is not known, according to “sports picture“, however, the word “asshole” is said to have been mentioned.

Insulting a manager can certainly be a reason for termination, but that often depends on the specific circumstances. In 2010, for example, the Schleswig-Holstein Regional Court declared the immediate dismissal of a truck driver invalid after he had described the manager of a parking deck as an “asshole”. Accordingly, the employee should have been warned first.

So whether Bobic has a valid reason to quit will depend on a variety of circumstances, as well as how much he can prove to Jarstein.

Meanwhile, the Jarstein party can put forward a number of alleged reasons against the legality of the termination in court. Among other things, the Norwegian could point out that according to media reports, Bobic wanted to get rid of him in the summer, but could not find a buyer. This could indicate that the alleged reason for dismissal is only a pretext.

The fact that Jarstein was publicly quiet during his suspension could also speak for him. While Bobic was at DAZN and “Sport Bild” about his (still) employees.

If Bobic loses, he is there as a bully who does not respect contracts

The outcome of the legal dispute is therefore still completely unclear. But regardless of whether Hertha wins or loses this process, Bobic threatens to shoot himself (or at least all Bundesliga clubs) in the foot.

Should Hertha lose and the termination be declared invalid, Bobic would be there like a bully, who simply threatens to do things that are in breach of contract to get his way. It would not be the first time that he has reinterpreted the applicable contract law in his own favour.

When Marcel Lotka (r.) got the chance to prove himself at Hertha for the first time, his move to BVB was already certain.

When Marcel Lotka (r.) got the chance to prove himself at Hertha for the first time, his move to BVB was already certain. Image: www.imago-images.de / Eibner

Already in the summer he had tried to extort money from BVB when Marcel Lotka was transferred, after he had announced the transfer free of charge months earlier. However, BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke did not allow himself to be ripped off and Bobic was simply rebuffed instead.

If Bobic wins, he creates a precedent that threatens the entire Bundesliga

However, a victory in court could be supposedly worse for Bobic and the Bundesliga: Then Hertha would finally be rid of the unwanted employee. But at the same time you would have A court judgment was enforced for the first time, which weakened the supposed “non-terminability” of player contracts in the Bundesliga – at the expense of the professionals.

At a time when professionals are regularly forced to fulfill their contracts despite the desire to change, player agents could take such a judgment as an opportunity to sue for contract termination. The fact that soccer players cannot unilaterally terminate their contracts makes them an exception among German employees. A special status that is legally controversial.

Should this special status fall before a court, the player contract model as we know it in the Bundesliga would be overturned. Players could then terminate their contracts in this country at will, for example to sign higher-paying contracts in England. And all that only because Fredi Bobic could not agree with his employee on an amicable termination of the contract and insisted on a unilateral right of termination.


Toni Kroos and sports reporters: that has been an explosive combination lately. It was only in May that the midfielder clashed with ZDF reporter Nils Kaben after his Real Madrid team won the Champions League. Videos of his freak out went viral afterwards.

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