Three days after leading the club to its first piece of silverware in five years, Tuchel left Die Borussen.
Despite having another year left on his deal at the Westfalenstadion, club officials elected to pay up the remainder of the 43-year-old’s contract, informing the coach at a meeting that lasted less than half an hour on Tuesday.
In-fighting behind the scenes has been a feature at the club this season, with relation between Tuchel and a number of the club’s hierarchy becoming irreparable.
Tuchel had shown little interest in a new contract when sporting director Michael Zorc sounded him out about one in January, while relations with Watzke reached breaking point in the aftermath of the Monaco bus attack.
At the weekend, club captain Marcel Schmelzer took the surprising step of speaking out against the manager as well, after Nuri Sahin’s omission from the clash with Eintracht Frankfurt in Berlin.
Now in an open letter to the club’s supporters – some of whom have questioned the decision to allow Tuchel to depart – Watzke has laid bare his criticisms, explaining why they are looking for a new manager.
“We have witnessed a season which is hard to describe. A season that was very, very moving. Although it ended with a great success in Berlin on Saturday, there’s need for explanations.
“This squad has achieved something historic. And we have to thank our coach Thomas Tuchel and his staff, that’s clear.
“There’s some criticism from fans that we have parted ways with Tuchel. We can understand that as a club. BVB was successful with Tuchel for two years in which we have reached our goals.
“But we, sporting director Michael Zorc and me, have worn ourselves out in dealing with the coaching staff.
“Taking your responsibilities is not only about the results, that’s not different at Dortmund from any other sporting club. It’s about basic values such as trust, respect, communication, authenticity, identification. It’s about loyalty.
“In the current situation, we did not see any starting point for a successful work for the future. That’s why we decided not to continue with this coaching staff beyond the season 2016-17.”
Tuchel has earned himself a reputation for being somewhat aloof during his time at first Mainz, and then BVB.
That has been in stark contrast to his predecessor, Jurgen Klopp.
Lucien Favre is expected to move from French side Nice to return to the Bundesliga and replace Tuchel in the North Rhine, but Watzke says the new manager will not necessarily need to be best friends with the club’s hierarchy.
“For me, it’s important to let you know, that it wasn’t a question of whether you could drink a beer together or play cards together or not. If we simplify these things, we would be bad decision-makers. In my opinion, club representatives and the coach don’t need to be close friends.
“The special relationship, that we, Zorc and I, had with Jurgen Klopp wasn’t the standard for the relationship with Thomas Tuchel – and it won’t be for any future Dortmund coach.”