Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre's job is safe despite suffering a humiliating 4-0 home loss against Hoffenheim on the final day of the 2019-20 Bundesliga season, according to Hans-Joachim Watzke, the club's managing director.
Dortmund were stunned at Signal Iduna Park in the last game of the interrupted 2019-20 league campaign, Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric scoring four times in the first 50 minutes of the match - including twice within the first five minutes of the second half - to condemn Favre's team to a shocking loss.
This placed extra pressure on Favre, who saw his Dortmund side bested once again in the Bundesliga title race by Bayern Munich, who have now won the last eight German top division titles in a row.
Watzke, however, came to the defence of Favre on national television, saying the players had to take the blame for the poor performance and result, while claiming the manager was being treated unfairly by journalists and pundits.
Speaking on Sport1, Watzke said: "Every coach in the world would have lost yesterday's game, because it was the team's fault. Before, against Leipzig, we had one of our best matches in the last few years.
"Lucien Favre took us to back-to-back second place finishes and he is still under contract. He deserves a chance to kill the rest of the prejudices that exist towards him in the media."
Watke also hit out at Wolfsburg midfielder Maximilian Arnold, who criticised Dortmund's performance after their own final day 4-0 home loss, against Bayern.
That defeat, combined with Hoffenheim's surprise win at Dortmund, pushed Wolfsburg down into seventh in the final Bundesliga standings, meaning they have to go through the qualifying rounds in the 2020-21 Europa League rather than automatically reaching the group stage.
Arnold said: "It's a bit of a shame that we finished seventh. I didn't think Dortmund would play like that. 0-4, what more can you say?"
Watzke's response was short and sharp: "If I had lost 0-4 myself, I would shut up."
Having looked well placed to push Bayern close for the title this season, Dortmund ultimately underwhelmed upon the Bundesliga's resumption following the lengthy hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
They finished with 69 points from 34 games - 13 behind the champions.