Hannover hire Heldt after sacking general manager and sporting director

HANNOVER, Germany -- German second-division side Hannover have sacked their general manager and sporting director to make way for former Schalke GM Horst Heldt.

Hannover, who were relegated from the Bundesliga last season, say Martin Bader and sporting director Christian Moeckel have been let go "with immediate effect."

Supervisory board members decided "the club's sporting leadership needs to be changed" to secure their immediate top-flight return.

Heldt has been assigned both their duties as the club's new sporting director.

After two games without a win, Hannover slipped to third in the second division, good enough for a playoff but not automatic promotion. Eleven rounds remain.

Coach Daniel Stendel, who took over from Thomas Schaaf when the side were on the verge of relegation last April, remains in charge of the team.