Bayern & Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wish everyone a very Merry Christmas
Dear members and fans,
I hope you're able to fully enjoy the Christmas period. Calm has likewise returned to FC Bayern for a few days. Looking back on this past calendar year of 2019, we can be satisfied with our work. In the spring, we witnessed the biggest catch-up ever seen in the Bundesliga, securing a seventh consecutive league title and capping the season off with the DFB Cup success. The one drawback during this period was our early elimination in the UEFA Champions League. We had hoped to get further in the competition than the round of 16, but we were also unfortunate in drawing eventual winners Liverpool so early on.
I've been impressed with how our team has performed in the Champions League this time round, though. They've shown great character, even when they were playing dead rubbers. We qualified for the last 16 after Matchday 4 and you might let things slide a bit after that, but the team didn't do that at all and instead became the first German side ever to finish a Champions League group stage with a perfect record: six wins from six matches. That was a statement that made Europe sit up and take notice.
We now face Chelsea in the round of 16 in the New Year. This match-up comes with its own history, of course, after the 2012 final. But we must look forward, not back. Chelsea's young team will test us. We will have to be in top form, focussed and highly motivated in both legs to reach the quarter-finals.
In the Bundesliga, we're four points off top spot – that's not a lot, especially as the two teams in front of us both have to come to Munich in 2020. We have good reason to be cautiously optimistic about the second half of the season.
A few days ago, we reached an agreement with Hansi Flick regarding his position, and it was decided that he will now remain our head coach until at least the summer, and perhaps even beyond that. We are very pleased with his work, we feel that the development of the team under his stewardship has been excellent and results-wise, things are looking up again too. We also very much like the way he presents himself. We have faith in Hansi Flick! On behalf of everyone at Bayern Munich, I would like to wish him luck and much success for the months ahead.
Finally, let me say a few words about the changes in the board of directors and the executive committee. Only a few weeks ago, Herbert Hainer stepped into the huge boots of Uli Hoeneß as president and chairman of the supervisory board. He has familiarised himself with proceedings very quickly and you can see straight away he's very professional. It's a pleasure to work with him. On 1 January, Oliver Kahn will return to Bayern as a member of the board. I'm already in regular contact with him and can see that we're on the same wavelength. We will show him the ropes and prepare him fully so that he is ready, in two years' time, to take over from me as chairman. Therefore, we need not worry about the future of our club. I think we have found extremely successful solutions.
But for now I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, a joyful few days with your families and a healthy start to the New Year, when we'll be ready to attack again.
Your Karl-Heinz Rummenigge