Bayern Munich on Sunday sacked coach Niko Kovac, a day after the German champions suffered a historic 5-1 loss against Eintracht Frankfurt — their worst Bundesliga defeat in a decade. “FC Bayern Munich have relieved head coach Niko Kovac of his duties,” the club said in a statement. The “mutual decision” was taken following talks with club president Uli Hoeness, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and Niko Kovac himself. “The performances of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown us that there was a need for action,” said Rummenigge.

“We all regret this development. I would like to thank Niko Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, particularly for last season’s double win.”

Assistant coach Hansi Flick will take charge of the team “until further notice”, the statement added.

The 48-year-old former Croatia international said it was the right move for the side who sit in fourth place in the table after a series of disappointing matches.

“I think this is the correct decision for the club at this time,” Kovac said.

“I would like to thank FC Bayern for these past 18 months. During that time our team won the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup and the Supercup. It was a good time. I wish the club and the team all the very best.”

Bayern will play a Champions League match against Olympiakos on Wednesday before facing their biggest rivals Borussia Dortmund in the German top-flight on Saturday.