Cologne coach Frank Schaefer has resigned just two days after death threats were made against the team.
Schaefer had taken over from Zvonimir Soldo in October and had already announced he would be leaving the club in the summer.
But Cologne lost 4-1 at relegation rivals Wolfsburg on Sunday to slip to within three points of the relegation zone and fans then made death threats against his team.
Sporting director Volker Finke will take charge of the team for the remaining three matches of the season.
“I take the responsibility in my position to make the best decisions for the club and the team,” Schaefer told Cologne’s official website.
“In view of recent results and in particular of the way we’ve played I have come to the decision that for the remaining games the team urgently needs another change and above all new impetus.
“I have come to the realisation that at the moment I can no longer help the team in the way I consider necessary and therefore have decided to take this step.”
Schaefer insisted his relationship with Finke was not a factor in his departure, as he said: “I would like to make it clear again that the tensions reported in the media between Volker Finke and I have not been a factor in my decision.”
Finke said: “The decision by Frank Schaefer has surprised me as we search for a new coach for next season.
“I regret his decision very much. The board and the management have together asked me to take over the team immediately for the short term.
“I have always said I would not return to the dugout, but in this exceptional situation it’s about mustering all the strength we can.”