—- At first it happened by accident that some of our players had the intellect not only to play football but to become president or manager or a director.
On the other hand now, when we discuss people working for Bayern, we try first to get people who have played for the club before we look for someone else.
That is not always possible. For example, for finance director: it is not possible to get a former player because you need someone from a bank or big company who deals with money. But, in principal, we try to find people who have their heart in the club.
I think it’s a question of personalitiess and a club like Bayern Munich have always created a lot of personalities. For example we had Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Soren Lerby, Stefan Effenberg.
We are not the only one. In other German clubs we have had personalities like Gunter Netzer and Wolfgang Overath. But it’s some of the secret of our success.
Change of opinion
Twenty years people thought that managers in football had been affected by heading the ball too much but that view has totally changed. If I want to meet our city president then I get an appointment within 25 minutes if he is there. That would not have happened even five years go.
On my board we have the best managers in Germany from industry but they accept working with former players who have a brain and, in Germany, there are plenty of them.
It doesn’t always work out. We tried here with Christian Nerlinger as sports director. It was OK but not as successful as we hoped so then I went to Matthias Sammer.
We have Wolfgang Dremmler leading the youth department, Michael Tarnat working for Bayern, Raimond Aumann, Karl-Heinz Pflugler – many former players.
I am sure that, in the next five or 10 years, there will be more to come. For example, in our team now we people like Lahm, Muller, Neuer who, in five or 10 years’ time, can go into administrative positions: I guarantee it
As told to KEIR RADNEDGE for World Soccer/ESM