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One year as Bayern board member for sport

Hasan Salihamidzic: I won’t ease off even a millimetre

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Hasan Salihamidzic has been the FC Bayern board member for sport exactly a year as of July 1st. The 44-year-old former FCB player was previously the club’s sporting director for three years. In our interview, he speaks about his goals, explains his day-to-day life and looks ahead to working with new CEO Oliver Kahn and new head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Interview with Hasan Salihamidzic

Hasan Salihamidzic, you’ve now been the board member for sport at Bayern for a year. What do you have planned for the second year?
Salihamidzic: 
“That we remain as successful as we’ve been in the past. With me, it goes without saying I’m delighted at the moment when we win a title. We have a beer together, everyone’s happy and enjoying themselves, but at the same time the thought of what we’re going to do to back up that success is already going through my head. I’m not prepared to ease off even by a millimetre. As a player, you celebrate a trophy for several days and can switch off. But as a club official, you’re immediately thinking ahead. Here it’s about trophies, trophies, trophies – that’s what we work for every day. We also owe it to our fans. Our club stands for successful, attractive football. That’s Bayern Munich. That’s our demand and also what drives me on for the future.”

You’ve now been an official at Bayern for four years. Looking back, what’s surprised you most in that time – both positive and negative?
“I don’t concern myself with negatives for long. What’s surprised me? I’d prefer to say what’s made me happy. For example, what’s made me happy is that, alongside our numerous trophies, we also boast the world’s best player in Robert Lewandowski and the world’s best goalkeeper in Manuel Neuer. We also had four players from our team in the FIFA World11 with Robert, Joshua Kimmich, Alphonso Davies and Thiago. Those aren’t only accolades for the individual player, but also recognition for the whole club, because that says FC Bayern is a top club in international professional football and that we all work very well here at FC Bayern.”

365 days as the board member for sport. Walk the fans through your day-to-day life. When does your working day start and end? How many times a day does your phone ring?
“I can’t say how many times my phone rings, but it’s rarely quiet. There are also texts and emails. I have a 24/7 job. My day isn’t really predictable. I like to talk of ‘moment management’. What I mean there is that I have a calendar, where everything’s in it, and each evening you plan another three jobs for the next day. Then you go into the office and realize that suddenly seven more jobs have landed on your desk overnight. So, you have to be flexible. You rarely have a regular day in that sense. And when there’s a game in the evening, it’s all different again. Things sizzle then. I like that most of all.”

What’s the difference there to other days?
“On matchdays, everything at this club is focused on the match. I’m also in the tunnel and try to help the coaches and the team when they need something special. There’s nothing more important than the games being won. Everything else moves into the background. We’re a football club. When we win, everything’s good.“  

1 July this year is the start of a new era at FC Bayern, with Oliver Kahn as the new CEO. What’s your communication like? What can we expect from you both?
“We have a close, trusting, very good relationship. Oliver and I have known each other a long time. We played together for nine years at FC Bayern, experiencing all the highs and lows alongside each other. We each know how the other ticks, deals with things, what’s important to him. We’ve both developed further since our playing days. I can’t imagine a better partner than Oliver. We’ll make all important sporting decisions together, and I’m sure he’s the right successor for Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as CEO. The whole board has to work like a team and always be aligned with the supervisory board and our president Herbert Hainer. It’s about standing together and always complementing each other for the sake of FC Bayern.”

As players, you were both driven by ambition. Is that the same in your new roles?
“Yes, that’s the FC Bayern gene. Oliver and I have that aspiration in any case. We want to win – that’s part of us. We don’t need to disguise that.”

You both won the Champions League as players, and last year again in your new roles. Are you still hungry?
“Yes, definitely. Oliver wasn’t CEO in 2020, so winning the Champions League is our new goal because we’re now both in charge. We won’t let up, but the Champions League title will be a great challenge. We’re going through very tough economic times. Coronavirus has afflicted us a lot, and above all, the clubs in the Premier League have a clear financial advantage here.”

Julian Nagelsmann starts as head coach next week. What are you expecting from him?

“With Julian we’re getting a young and very innovative coach. Julian is also a coach many top clubs in Europe wanted to sign, so we’re very happy he decided to continue writing his and our success story here with us. FC Bayern is really looking forward to him.”

A topic that gets FCB fans going every summer is transfers. What can you say about that this year?
“First of all, we have an excellent squad which still has potential and which we’ll continue to develop. That means we’re already well-placed, and we did our work early this time by signing Dayot Upamecano and Omar Richards in defence. But we’ll still keep a very close eye on the transfer market until the end. However, we have clear financial limits this summer because of coronavirus and can only move within these limits.”

Sven Ulreich is back at Bayern after a year with Hamburger SV. In an interview he talks about his return: 

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