Wilhelm Neudecker and the beginning of a new era

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On 28 April 1962 Wilhelm Neudecker could only guess how Bayern would evolve. 58 years ago the building contractor took over as FC Bayern president, provisionally at first. It was the beginning of the perhaps most successful era in club history, FC Bayern becoming probably the world's best football team under Neudecker.

The first milestone: Wilhelm Neudecker (middle row, fifth from right) and the young team that achieved promotion to the Bundesliga, with Franz Beckenbauer (top row, centre), Gerd Müller (middle row, third from left) and Sepp Maier (bottom row, third from right).

From promotion to the Intercontinental Cup

But all that was a long way off at the beginning of the 1960s. Today's German record champions were in the lower-tier Oberliga when Neudecker took over. When the Bundesliga was founded in 1963, local rivals TSV 1860 were chosen as Munich's representatives, with FC Bayern competing in the newly founded Regionalliga. Expensive transfers were not possible, so Neudecker -- who as club president was responsible for signing new players back then -- relied on young talents, paving the way for a golden era.

He signed coach Zlatko Tschik Čajkovski and the *young guns*including Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller and Sepp Maier. Later he signed coach Udo Lattek and pros like Uli Hoeneß, Paul Breitner and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, laying the foundations for outstanding success: Bayern achieved promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965, won the DFB Cup in 1966 and the European Cup Winners' Cup one year later. By the end of Neudecker's 17-year reign, Bayern had added three more DFB Cup triumphs, four German championship titles, three European Champions' Cup titles and the Intercontinental Cup.

FC Bayern won silverware galore under Neudecker. He had close ties to the club until his death in 1993.

Modernisation and professionalisation

Neudecker also modernised the club's infrastructure, paving the way for Bayern's rise to the status of a world-leading club. He employed the first full-time general manager in German football, Robert Schwan, who merged the headquarters and the training facility at the Säbener Strasse and played a crucial role in the foundation of the women's football section. All this began on 28 April 1962.

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