Andreas Jung: 25 years in heaven

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© Photos: Fritz Beck

Andreas Jung is the longest-serving member of the Bayern board, having brought up 25 years in the post. On 23 November, he also turned 60 -- a number that's less palatable to him because it reminds him of the club's city rivals. Jung has had a deep red heart from an early age, which has always driven him on.

When Jung sits at his desk, Muhammad Ali is looking over his shoulder. The heavyweight world champion's motto was "nothing is impossible" -- that's also the guiding principle of FC Bayern's board member for marketing. Next to the historic photograph of the boxing icon is a picture of the Allianz Arena, which dominates the office. It's a special scene, taken in the morning with the sun reflecting in the stadium honeycomb. Here the Allianz Arena looks like it's made of molten gold. Jung reckons you could never get that with artificial lighting, even if technology is so advanced. Between Ali and the Allianz Arena, he goes about his job. He's been working for Bayern for 25 years now.

Jung is wearing a blue jumper on this day. You might question if that isn't the colour of our city rivals and doesn't contradict the fashion taste of a die-hard Bayern fan? Jung laughs. He says that's essentially true, but he doesn't have a problem with the colour itself. He then taps his chest where his heart is, where the club crest is emblazoned on the jerseys: "Here, at this spot, is where is has to be right."

Great passion for FC Bayern

Jung can afford to come into the office wearing blue. There is no doubting his passion for Bayern. He turned 60 in November, which pains him, as he tells us with a smile. It's not because of his age, which you can't see on him anyway, but because of the number, which is so heavy with meaning in Munich football. "I'm afraid of a bit of mockery and ridicule. I'm not up for that," he says. "And if one of my friends thinks he has to get me an 1860 shirt as a gift, it's money down the drain. I wouldn't touch it." He says all of this with a wink and full of respect for the local rivals. "You can only devote yourself to one football club in your life." And you live that out with all your heart.

When the sports scientist and manager used to work for the German Cycling Association and it wasn't yet obvious that FC Bayern would come calling, another Bundesliga club wanted to poach him. For Jung, even an introductory meeting was out of the question. Sorry, he said when they contacted him, he'd have to resign when the club played against Bayern. It wouldn't have made any sense. "I just can't take it professionally and say I'll just switch from employer A to employer B," he said. To say his identification with FCB is exemplary could be considered an understatement.

You can only devote yourself to one football club in your life.

Andreas Jung

Toy over stadium

When Jung began to take an interest in football, the name Franz Beckenbauer soon came to him. When he was six or seven years old, he wanted a football boot -- not an ordinary one, but one from Der Kaiser's collection. From then on, he was hooked. Although there were many big clubs around where he grew up -- Eintracht Frankfurt, Kickers Offenbach and Darmstadt -- he had always been a Red from an early age. Only once in his life did he go against Bayern. His father gave him a choice: He could go to watch Bayern at the stadium or have the truck from the toy shop window he'd been keen on for weeks. "My little head was rattling for a long time and I thought if I don't get the truck, it's gone. But Bayern will come again." But it was still a tough decision for him, he recalls now with a smile.

To this day Jung can recall Uli Hoeneß's runs in the European Cup final against Atletico Madrid. They were all heroes for him: Beckenbauer, Rummenigge -- all the people he met every day on the corridors of Säbener Straße once he took up his post in 1996. "You can't close your mouth in astonishment, but of course you also know that you have to do your job." And Jung has always been a doer. Football took the next step in the mid-90s. Bayern were still playing at the Olympic Stadium at the time. The demand for hospitality seats was gradually outstripping the supply, so VIP tents were set up in the car park and bouncy castles were organised to take care of the children at the same time. Jung was always in the thick of things. Everyone helped at the time so that a development could begin: "I was allowed to run with the pioneers. We all learned a lot."

Jung still remembers a particular story well about the first time that rotatable instead of static advertising board were used at a live match. That evening it snowed so incessantly that the motors could no longer cope with the wintry load. One advertising partner was happy about the uninterrupted exposure, but the others could no longer rotate into view. It was a catastrophe. It was about money, and back then there weren't so many games broadcast on TV. Immediately after the full-time whistle, Hoeneß was stood in front of Jung: "What about the money?" Jung was able to reassure the general manager. They were insured against such situations as a precaution. Everything was always under control.

Like a religion

Jung is still fascinated by how FC Bayern has developed over the decades. As it went from a registered association to a limited company, it became increasingly more professional. "And yet this club retains its core, everything serves its original purpose," he says. "The fan is always the addressee in everything we strive for." His emotional attachment is as strong now as it was when he remained loyal to the Reds, even though they took some nasty knocks in Frankfurt during his teenage years. "I would never doubt, it's just not on. And when I see our staff like this, where is there a deeper relationship with what I do than here? Here, every game, I see what each of us is ultimately working for. Our product is alive, it inspires so many people around the world. You don't need conviction to work here. It's a basic attitude, it's a religion," he says. "For me, working here is like being in heaven."

He is deeply grateful to his wife Desiree, to whom he's also been married for 25 years, and to his daughters Luisa and Isabel for sharing his passion -- and for never resenting the fact that the job also takes up weekends. "I could never do all this the way it needs to be done Without their understanding without their understanding," Jung says. That Bayern gene has obviously been passed down, as his daughters are also very knowledgeable about everything FCB. "Sometimes they tell me things even I don't know."

The fan is always the addressee in everything we strive for.

Andreas Jung

What is his most memorable moment from 25 years at FC Bayern? It started with going to the stadium as a child with a red scarf. Back then there was no fan merchandise. How he suffered when Bayern lost 4-0 to Frankfurt twice in four three days. And how he cheered while the ball was still in the air when Klaus Augenthaler scored the Goal of the Decade from the halfway line in 1989. After joining the club, moments like Unterhaching and Hamburg with the Bundesliga titles are the first to come to mind. The 2001 Champions League triumph in Milan, 2013 in London, 2020 in Lisbon. And even the Finale dahoam in 2012. "Munich was a ghost town after that. That hurt, but it also showed how many people go through thick and thin with this club. It was motivation for us all."

Nothing is impossible. And so, even after 25 years at FC Bayern, Andy Jung looks ahead with as much optimism as ever. With Muhammed Ali behind him and the Allianz Arena of molten gold in view every day. It really has been 25 years of heaven.


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