Schalke's problems continued on Sunday as they sacked their first-team leadership to become the first club in Bundesliga history with five different coaches in one season.

Following Saturday's 5-1 defeat at Stuttgart, the Bundesliga's worst side in over 50 years have taken dramatic measures in a desperate attempt to halt the free fall towards a first relegation since 1988.

"On Sunday, Schalke 04 dismissed head coach Christian Gross and his assistant Rainer Widmayer," a club statement said.

"Squad manager Sascha Riether and Werner Leuthard, head of performance, have also been released. The supervisory board also decided during a conference call to lay off Jochen Schneider, the sport and communications executive, with immediate effect."

Peter Knabel, a coach and director of the youth academy at Schalke, will take over the sporting leadership of the club, while a new coach is yet to be appointed.

The next coach will be the club's fifth of the season following David Wagner, Manuel Baum, Huub Stevens and Gross. This is a record in the Bundesliga's nearly 60-year-long history, with the record of four different coaches held by several clubs including Hamburg and Hertha Berlin.