Pacult to return to Germany

A struggling football club subsidised by energy drink producer Red Bull has signed former Rapid Vienna boss Peter Pacult.RasenBallsport (RB) Leipzig announced today (Weds) they agreed with the ex-national team striker over a two-year deal, adding that he will take over after the end of the current season. Pacult was fired by 32-time Austrian Bundesliga champions Rapid last month due to what club officials described as a “massive breach of trust.”The ex-1860 Munich coach came under fire when journalists spotted him sharing a table with Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz at a posh restaurant in Vienna. Pacult vehemently dismissed claims he was holding talks about becoming new RB Leipzig manager with the businessman as rumours that he did so intensified. Pacult’s contract with Rapid would not have expired before next year. The Vienna-born manager defended himself, saying: “How stupid would I have to be debating such things in such an environment (in a crowded eatery)? There would be other ways to do so.”Pacult stressed he has never been in touch with Mateschitz or other Red Bull decision-makers about coaching one of the firm’s clubs. Rapid nevertheless sacked the former Dynamo Dresden manager who became coach of Rapid’s senior squad in 2006. Pacult triumphed in the league in 2008 before reaching the main stage of the UEFA Europa League with Rapid twice.Zoran Barisic, who was dismissed as assistant manager at Rapid by Pacult for unknown reasons two years ago, currently coaches Rapid. The former midfielder – who does not possess the UEFA professional manager licence needed to keep the post – is understood to stay on board at Rapid as assistant manager regardless of who takes over.RB Leipzig are currently competing in the fourth-highest league in Germany. The name of the club – which is unlikely to manage a promotion this season – does not feature the term Red Bull since German football regulations disallow the mention of sponsors in team’s titles. The situation is different in Austria where Red Bull Salzburg (RBS) has won the league three times since its establishment six years ago.Rapid and RBS have only small chances to claim any trophies this season. The Bulls are in third place in the league, four points down from leaders Sturm Graz. Rapid are only in fifth position after their 1-2 home defeat against RBS – where Huub Stevens had to leave as manager some weeks ago – last Sunday. Both teams also crashed out of the ÖFB Cup. While RBS embarrassed themselves against third-league side Blau-Weiß Linz already in the second round, Rapid were beaten 1-2 by SV Ried last night. Ried, who won the cup in 1998, face second-league team Austria Lustenau in the event’s final at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna on 29 May.The Austrian Bundesliga continues with four matches this Saturday before Ried face Sturm the following day. All matches will be broadcast by pay TV network Sky. National TV channel ORF 1 will screen the Sunday game (kickoff: 4pm).The Austrian Bundesliga table after 31 of 36 rounds:Sturm Graz, 55 pointsAustria Vienna, 51Red Bull Salzburg, 50SV Ried, 49Rapid Vienna, 48Wacker Innsbruck, 46Magna Wiener Neustadt, 45Kapfenberg, 34SV Mattersburg, 27LASK Linz, 18