AFC Bayern Munich can rely on its most important employees during the communications crisis. He always comments on criticism of the sponsorship agreement with Qatar Airways – a state-owned company from the emirate that regularly documents human rights violations – always as the club imagines. Three examples:
“The club is in dialogue, tries to discuss things in dialogue, to influence them in dialogue, not by excluding them or looking the other way. I think we’ve made a difference, ”he said on November 6th, when Bayern fans presented a banner on the south curve of the stadium with the inscription:“ We’ll wash everything for money ”.
“I am a fan of influencing things through discussions and conversations. (…) I am someone who tries to listen to many opinions in order to understand things, to be able to move and change things and not stand there and raise my hands, ”he said on November 18 as a member of Bayern before the annual general meeting had submitted a publicly effective motion with which he wanted to oblige the association not to continue the contract with Qatar Airways.
“I find it valuable when you present arguments and try to find a consensus on a factual level – this was not always the case at the end of the event – in the interests of the entire association. That is the important message for me, ”he said on November 26th when the Bavarian general assembly got out of hand, mainly because of the amateurish argument with the members in the Qatar controversy.
Nagelsmann as a crisis manager
The statements of the most important employee can also explain why Bayern Munich is in a communication crisis at all: They come from coach Julian Nagelsmann. And not from CEO Oliver Kahn.
In the context of the Qatar criticism, one can regard these statements as not very convincing or not at all convincing – and yet recognize: It is impressive how confidently Julian Nagelsmann, 34 years old, was in his first months as coach of the largest German sports club in small and large moments of crisis communicates.
In the corona debate. In the vaccination debate. In the Qatar debate. It was Nagelsmann, the crisis manager, who answered the most pressing questions in these debates in his regular press conferences and interviews. So often that you had to remember why FC Bayern hired him: namely to lead a football team that is supposed to win national and international titles.
How does Nagelsmann behave?
This Saturday (6.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and Sky) Nagelsmann has to take care of the sport in Dortmund. He and his team could lose the Bundesliga lead through a defeat against BVB. That wouldn’t be a sensation. He has to plan without midfielder Joshua Kimmich (Covid-19), Marcel Sabitzer (calf injury) and maybe even Leon Goretzka (patellar tendon pain). And against Erling Haaland, the fantastic striker from Dortmund, who could be in the starting line-up for the first time since his hip injury just in time for the top game.