Munich – In his first 100 days as a Bayern board member, Oliver Kahn sometimes felt like he was in “catastrophic film”. Until the Corona crisis, when the former world-class goalkeeper returned to the German football champions, everything went according to plan.
But then the 50-year-old, who has been a new member of the Munich management team since January 1 of this year, suddenly had to assume responsibility at the forefront of the introductory phase.
“Of course, I wasn’t prepared for this challenge in my new role at Bayern,” said Kahn. «But I take on this task like all of us. We are challenged to steer the association through this crisis. » And you have to think about the future – and learn lessons.
At the moment, however, the main thing is to minimize the economic impact on the club and still take pioneering steps for the future. In spite of all difficulties from the outside, the patron and ex-president Uli Hoeness rated the debut of what he had chosen as “optimal”. «It met all of my expectations 100 percent. And I am very optimistic that it was the right decision to include Oliver in it. You can already see that, ”was Hoeness’s first conclusion in the“ Kicker ”.
Before Kahn, who as an entrepreneur said that he had “already experienced a few crisis situations”, was now required in crisis management, the “onboarding process” announced by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge went as planned. Kahn, who replaced Rummenigge as Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2022, took the time to get to know the club, which has been very well known from his one and a half decades, in modern times. Rummenigge experienced the former «Titan», «not quite as emotionally as I know from the former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn».
In discussions with individual departments, the club reports, he took his time and appeared very structured. The former captain wanted and wants to get an impression of the overall situation. The powerful “Titan” held back in public for a long time – until the big test followed in a socially difficult time.
“Epochal experiences mean that we pause and reflect,” said Kahn of “Sport Bild”. «There is also life after this crisis. No one can now predict reliably how our lives and the football world will change. Perhaps we will appreciate more what constitutes football at its core, namely fun, positive emotions and shared experiences and not hate, mobbing and violence. »
Kahn also sees the crisis as an opportunity. Such phases are always a «resilience test», described the former national goalkeeper. “If we can absorb such shocks, there is a great opportunity to emerge stronger from the crisis.” The current time shows the vulnerability of the football system. Therefore, it is “more important than ever to think about how we can position ourselves as a club,” said Kahn.
In the member magazine “51”, he already promised the fans that “we would do everything to ensure that FC Bayern will give its fans pleasure again when the time comes – and of course will also aim for titles again.”
The new contracts for trainer Hansi Flick and model Bavarian Thomas Muller (both until 2023) showed how closely the 50-year-old is involved in the current personnel planning. Kahn was able to announce both Munich embassies alongside Rummenigge and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. The term of the contracts documented the consensus of the committee, because the end of the contracts falls back in the time of Kahn as the boss.
For the negotiations with captain Manuel Neuer, a key personnel for the coming years, Kahn is predestined as a multiple goalkeeper. After all, he not only knows the position in the club like no other, he played until the age of almost 39. Should Neuer possibly extend his 2021 contract until 2025, he would be 39 years old. “In general, as I have shown myself, goalkeepers can of course play until old age. But then it is a big challenge to maintain the high level, »said Kahn. The access of the designated new successor Alexander Nubel in summer must also be considered when planning the goalkeeper.
Kahn and Salihamidzic, who will join the board in the summer, have already praised each other for their ability to work in a team. Salihamidzic gives the former teammate the “grade one”, both professionally and personally. The sports director announced the big sporting goal right at the start of Kahn’s creative period. “We won the Champions League in the jersey and want to win the Champions League together if possible.”