- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) - Relegation-threatened Hamburger SV appointed former youth team coordinator Jens Todt as sporting director on Friday.

The 47-year-old Todt signed a two-year deal and has already joined the team at its winter training camp in Dubai, the Bundesliga club said.

Todt was previously sporting director at second-division club Karlsruher SC. He fills the position left vacant by Peter Knaebel last May at Hamburg. Former chairman Dietmar Beiersdorfer took over Knaebel’s duties but was replaced by new chairman Heribert Bruchhagen last month.

Todt worked with Hamburg’s youth sides from 2008-09 before leaving because of difficulties with then-chairman Bernd Hoffmann.

“It’s a special thing for me to take responsibility for HSV,” Todt said. “I’m really looking forward to this challenging role and am ready to deliver my part.”

Hamburg, the only remaining founding member of the Bundesliga never relegated, has been flirting with demotion in recent seasons. The club is spending the winter break in the Bundesliga relegation zone after another season of upheaval.

Todt had already been working and exchanging ideas with Bruchhagen and coach Markus Gisdol in the previous days, the club said. Gisdol is Hamburg’s second coach of the season after taking over in September from Bruno Labbadia.

Three wins from the side’s last four Bundesliga games - the club’s only league victories this season - at least indicate an upward trend.

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