Oliver Kahn unveiled as new board member

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It’s been 11 and a half years since Oliver Kahn retired from playing, but the former goalkeeper is now back at FC Bayern. The long-standing captain joined the board of FC Bayern München AG on 1 January and was unveiled at the Allianz Arena in a press conference on Tuesday.

The plan is for the 50-year-old to work alongside CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge over the next two years and learn the ropes at the top of the record champions. Once Rummenigge’s contract expires on 31 December 2021, the three-time World’s Best Goalkeeper will then take up the office of CEO. fcbayern.com has all the most important statements from Kahn’s maiden press conference as a board member.

Oliver Kahn on…

…his return to FC Bayern: “I was a Bayern Munich player for 14 years. The club’s DNA is so deep inside me that you can never really leave the club after such a long time. Things have changed but the club’s DNA remains the same. I didn’t have to think long about it at all. Wanting to continue writing this success story, remaining successful and perhaps even stepping it up a notch, that’s all in keeping with my character and is a great challenge for me.”

…his first day as a board member: “It was a really special moment for me, not just this morning but also the past few days. This is a labour of love for me. There’s blood, sweat and tears in all this, so they were really emotional days.”

…how he’s prepared for the job: “I spoke to a number of people in the final weeks and months of the year to get an idea of things, but I didn’t want to overdo it because I think it’s very important to approach everything around Bayern Munich impartially. But that then means 100 per cent Bayern Munich from today. We’ve drawn up a very firm and clear plan for the coming months, which gives me the chance to get the best possible overview of the club’s activities and various areas. It isn’t just about the sporting side of things but the entire project. That’s why it’s key to get a view of all areas.”

…his economic competence: “I haven't just been interested in economics since I retired but already during my playing career. I quickly started studying in 2008 and tried to develop in other areas. Practice is very important. I’ve founded a few companies in recent years and gained a lot of experience. They’re all things you can’t learn at university. You have to feel them, experience them. I think this package gives me a lot of confidence for the tasks ahead.”


…his aims with FC Bayern: “When you look at the development of this club over the last few years, it’s clear we want to be number one wherever we’re involved. One thing is always in the foreground: we do things to give our supporters excellent football – elite, world-class football – and aspiring to be number one in all areas is what we have on our mind. That is what FC Bayern aspires to.”

…the beginning of change: “Only things that continue to develop and change remain alive. First of all, I need to get an insight into the different areas in order to be able to make any really meaningful statements about what can be changed. One of the most important areas at FC Bayern is youth development. We’ve also set goals here so we can remain at the top in the future, and we’re already seeing the first signs that we’re succeeding in bringing through younger players to the first team. The sporting sector is really on track in this sense.”

…the pressure of his new job: “That’s the way it is with FC Bayern. I was here for 14 years, I know that. I know how great the expectations are. In that sense, that’s not something I mind too much. A great Bayern coach once told me, ‘Anyone who signs a contract at Bayern has to know what he’s done’. I think that sums it up pretty well.”

…his role in transfers: Hasan Salihamidzic is responsible for the sporting side of things. I’m a fan of being a proper team player. I think there’s a huge amount of knowledge at Bayern Munich that you can bring into a decision-making process. Everyone has a part to play in such decisions. It’s about bringing together this knowledge and sporting know-how to make a decision that affects the squad or other things.”

…the training camp in Doha: “Of course the sporting side of things, the team, is the core of this club. I want to use the opportunity there to get a first insight into this as well, to sense the atmosphere, the mood and how the different players are right now.”

…the sporting goals for this season: “The objective at FC Bayern is relatively clear. We don’t want to allow ourselves to give up the Bundesliga title this year. It goes without saying this run of seven consecutive league titles is incredible. The players don’t really realise that yet, but it’s basically something for all time. Eight times would be, too. So I think everyone is hugely motivated to be German champions again this season. And our performances in the Champions League group stage were outstanding. The team needs to go into the second half of the season with the approach that, as ever at Bayern Munich, everything is possible.”

…the signing of Alexander Nübel: “It was a very wise, strategic decision to sign such a great goalkeeper. He’s made it relatively clear that he’s prepared to take a backseat and is willing to learn from Manuel Neuer, whose qualities as a true world-class goalkeeper don’t need to be discussed. When you’re new like me, you can approach things in a relaxed manner and talk to the people involved. Then we’ll see how we handle the topic in peace and quiet. At the moment it’s not an issue. At the moment the main thing is to concentrate fully on the second half of the season.”

“I won't be slide tackling my way through the meeting room.”

Oliver Kahn on emotions

…emotional outbursts, like when he was a player: “I think emotion is very, very important. That was an important part of me as a player on the pitch and is also called for in the stands at Bayern Munich. However, I’ve done a lot of other things in the past, so emotions aren’t necessarily that helpful. I won't be slide tackling my way through the meeting room.”

President Herbert Hainer on…

…the selection of Oliver Kahn: “We came up with a profile in the Supervisory Board for the ideal candidate to succeed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and that consisted of three criteria: He has to have the highest-quality footballing knowledge, has to have the Bayern gene and have business expertise. We looked at a lot of candidates and quickly decided that Oliver Kahn combines all these things. He lives and embodies FC Bayern like no other. He’s the right man for this job.”

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