|Full name||Christian Jürgen Gross|
|Date of birth||14 August 1954|
|Place of birth||Zürich, Switzerland|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Christian Jürgen Gross (born 14 August 1954 in Zürich) is a Swiss professional football manager and former footballer, currently a free agent. He managed BSC Young Boys until his dismissal in April 2012. He was manager of FC Basel from 1 July 1999 to 27 May 2009, winning four Swiss Super Leagues and four Swiss Cups.
Gross began his playing career at Grasshoppers, which he left in 1975. After three years at Lausanne Sports and two seasons at Neuchâtel Xamax, he moved to Germany in 1980 to play for VfL Bochum of the Bundesliga. In two seasons Gross made 29 appearances in the Bundesliga and scored four goals. He then returned to Switzerland and spent three years at FC St. Gallen and FC Lugano. Gross was capped once for Switzerland.
Gross began his managerial career at Swiss side FC Wil in the 2. Liga (the fourth-highest level), for whom he was active as player-manager. During his reign from 1988 to 1993 Wil climbed into the 1. Liga and then the Nationalliga B (now the Challenge League). While at Wil, Gross developed a reputation for an emphasis on fitness and hard work. He then joined Grasshopper Zurich as head coach in 1993. Under Gross, Grasshopper won two Swiss championships and the Swiss Cup. Gross's success with Grasshopper meant he was a very highly-rated coach in his native Switzerland, but he was still little-known outside central Europe and it was a major shock when in November 1997 he was chosen to succeed Gerry Francis as manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
Gross endured a tough nine months at Tottenham starting in the relegation zone. To further his troubles, his most trusted aide, the Swiss fitness coach Fritz Schmid, who had been an integral part of Gross' training plans at Grasshopper, was denied a work permit by the British government and so was unable to take up this role at Tottenham.
Gross' initial fortunes were mixed; his debut was a 1–0 loss to Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane, followed by a 2–0 win over Everton at Goodison Park, with a heavy 6–1 home defeat at the hands of Chelsea. However, despite some signs of improvement, he was relentlessly ridiculed by the British tabloids. The tabloid ridicule of Gross was often linked to his poor grasp of English and first (infamous) Spurs press conference, where he arrived late from Heathrow airport brandishing a London Underground ticket with the words I want this to become my ticket to the dreams.
Gross' position became increasingly untenable as the 1998–99 season approached, and when Spurs lost two of their opening three matches, chairman Alan Sugar decided enough was enough and ended Gross' contract, blaming the media for destroying his reputation.
After being sacked from the Tottenham job, Gross returned to his native Switzerland, finding work as the coach of Basel. He worked to rebuild Basel into the premier force in Swiss football and achieved greater success than when manager of Grasshopper.
Under Gross' guidance, Basel won four Swiss championships, four Swiss Cups, and mounted a fairytale run in the UEFA Champions League in 2002, beating eventual finalists Juventus as well as knocking out Celtic and drawing with Liverpool (twice) and Manchester United. Gross' success in these games against British sides went a long way towards restoring his reputation among the British media and fans. He took Basel on another European adventure three seasons later as they reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup in 2005–06, before bowing out to English side Middlesbrough 4–3 on aggregate despite leading 2–0 after the first leg at St. Jakob-Park.
On 27 May 2009, Gross was sacked by Basel after ten years.
On 6 December 2009, Gross became manager of Stuttgart and signed a contract until 30 June 2011. Sensationally he secured qualification to the Europa league. His dismissal from this job was announced on 13 October 2010 after six defeats in seven matches, when the club found itself at the bottom of the table.
Following the poor results, Young Boys sacked the former manager Vladimir Petković on 7 May 2011 and appointed Gross as the new manager. He agreed a two-year contract with the club and was sacked at the end of April 2012 after a run of poor results.
- As of 28 April 2012.
|Grasshoppers||July 1993||July 1997||144||80||42||22||55.56|
|Tottenham Hotspur||25 November 1997||5 September 1998||26||9||7||10||34.62|
|Basel||1 July 1999||27 May 2009||357||212||84||61||59.38|
|VfB Stuttgart||6 December 2009||13 October 2010||26||14||4||8||53.85|
|Young Boys||8 May 2011||29 April 2012||36||14||13||9||38.89|
|Career as manager|
|1988–1993||FC Wil||Promoted to 1. Liga
Promoted to Nationalliga B
|1993–1997||Grasshopper Club Zürich||1994 – Swiss Cup
1995 – Championship
1996 – Championship
|1999–2009||FC Basel||2002 – Swiss Cup
2002 – Championship
2002 – UEFA Champions League 2nd Group Stage
2003 – Swiss Cup
2004 – Championship
2005 – Championship
2007 – Swiss Cup
2008 – Swiss Cup
2008 – Championship
2008 – Super League Coach of the Year
- FC Basel. "FC Basel – Die offizielle Homepage". Fcb.ch. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
- Doyle, Paul (20 November 2007). "Guardian Unlimited: Sport blog: On Second Thoughts: Christian Gross". London: Blogs.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
- "Maier claims first downhill skiing victory Jordan equals Abdul-Jabbar record as Bulls down Mavs Kallis leads South Africa to safety in first test cric". Turkish Daily News. 31 December 1997.[dead link]
- "Christian Gross: 25 November 1997–5 September 1998". Topspurs. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
- "September 5 – Sir Alan Sugar's Apprentice". 5 September 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- "F365's Most Memorable Press Conferences – F365 Features – Football365 News". Football365.com. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
- "Gross: 'I was sacked'". BBC News. 6 September 1998. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
- "Former Tottenham manager attacked by yobs". The Daily Mirror. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- "Gross to leave Basel". Sky Sports. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- "Christian Gross is new VfB trainer". vfb.de. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- "I demand passion". vfb.de. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
- "Gross beurlaubt – Bobic: "Keine Lösungsansätze"". kicker.de (in German). 13 October 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
- Birrer, Peter B. (30 April 2012). "Ende des grossen Traums". NZZ (in German). Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "Christian Gross – profile". Soccerbase. Racing Post. Retrieved 11 February 2012.