DThere was something spicy about the presentation of the championship trophy. Because the injured Bayern captain Manuel Neuer received the bowl from his new boss at 5:41 p.m. – even if it was only a copy. After the eleventh title in a row, the Munich team received it from Jan-Christian Dreesen of all people. He was active in his function as a DFL official – and was still CFO and Deputy Chairman of the Board of FC Bayern.
At 6.25 p.m. it became official what the “Bild” had already reported during the 2-1 win at Bayern: Dreesen became the new club manager at Bayern. The Munich announced that “Oliver Kahn is no longer CEO of FC Bayern Munich AG. The position of sports director Hasan Salihamidzic will also be filled. This was decided by the supervisory board of the German record champions. The previous deputy CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen takes over for Kahn. Hasan Salihamidzic’s successor is still being decided.”
Originally, future decisions were only expected at the Supervisory Board meeting, which was postponed to next Tuesday. However, there has already been an extraordinary meeting of the committee around Honorary President Uli Hoeneß. Kahn was already absent from the Cologne stadium on Saturday, club circles cited flu as the reason.
“I’m looking forward to next season,” Kahn tweeted
But at 6:23 p.m. Kahn tweeted – and gave a deep look. First he reveled: “Incredible! A big compliment and congratulations guys! I always told you so! Always give everything to the end and never give up. I’m incredibly proud of you and this achievement!”
Then he wrote. “I’d love to celebrate with you, but unfortunately I can’t be with you today because I’ve been forbidden to do so. I’m looking forward to next season. We will not only be German champions for the 12th time! Let yourself be celebrated!“
But that will no longer happen. It was not his doctor who had forbidden him to travel to the season finale in Cologne, but his previous employer. This is how Kahn described it in an interview with “Bild” around 6.45 p.m. “I was forbidden to travel to the game in Cologne and to attend the championship celebration by the club,” revealed Kahn. At Sky he added: “It was the worst day of my life to take it from me to celebrate with the boys.”
FC Bayern has had a very troubled season in which the most expensive squad failed to achieve any sporting successes. Timing, handling and communication of the change of coach from Julian Nagelsmann to Thomas Tuchel, which took place two months ago, caused internal and external debates. Kahn and Salihamidzic did not give a good picture. Tuchel only warned on Friday that the club premises on Säbener Straße in Munich had to become a “resting place” for the team again.
The former national goalkeeper and Bayern captain Kahn returned to FC Bayern in early 2020. He became a board member on a five-year contract. Two years ago, he replaced the longstanding CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Salihamidzic was also a successful Bayern professional. In 2017 he surprisingly became sports director, three years later he was promoted to sports director.
Tuchel is shocked. Does he continue?
“Due to the overall development, we have come to the decision to make a new appointment at the top of the Management Board. We would like to thank Oliver Kahn for his commitment, his ideas and for everything we have achieved together. He will always be a big personality at FC Bayern. We wish him all the best for the future,” said club president and chairman of the supervisory board Herbert Hainer. Shortly after the final whistle, he had a battle of words with sports director Salihamidzic on the pitch in front of the TV cameras.
Coach Thomas Tuchel then reported shortly before 7:00 p.m. how he was in the lead from the earthquake. Accordingly, he had found out the day before the Cologne duel, the team found out shortly after the game at FC in the cabin. “I don’t know,” said the consternated Tuchel, “Hasan called me eight weeks ago, persuaded and convinced that we should do it together. I also persuaded and convinced my assistant coaches. Families move there. The (Salihamidzic and Kahn, editor’s note) were largely responsible for the fact that we went on the trip and that they believed us capable of it. That’s why I have to process this now. Instead of celebrating now, we now have the next political topic.”
There could have been such a lavish celebration after this drama. For the first time in 23 years, goal difference decided the league title: in 1999/00 Bayern won the title ahead of Leverkusen, who tied on points. And for the first time since 1999/2000 there was a change in leadership on the last day of the game. Sky moderator Sebastian Hellmann asked Tuchel whether he would continue on his way. He’s going “from now on,” replied Tuchel. That didn’t sound very convincing.
“That can’t be beat for disrespect”
The press conference that followed was no different. It’s “not the moment to go away,” he said: “After yesterday’s decisions, I have to be there, I have to take responsibility, I have to speak my mind and I have to think about it, because of course I’m responsible for the sporting development of the team have. I can’t say more about it because I don’t know exactly how it will continue in terms of content. But it’s clear that I’ll stay here for the time being.”
Of course, the manner in which the two were replaced and the message leaked in the middle of the game do not paint a good picture of the string pullers behind FC Bayern. In any case, their former player Dietmar Hamann was horrified. In the Sky studio he complained: “I have to ask myself which people are responsible. Hasan Salihamidzic and Oliver Kahn didn’t deserve that. You can think what you want about the work of the two, but these are two well-deserved players and also officials. Going through that a minute or five minutes later after winning the championship is undignified. And if Bayern think that if a Kahn is gone and a Salihamidzic that things will get better, then they will take a look. Because what they did today cannot be surpassed in terms of disrespect.”
Once in a rage, he could hardly be stopped: “There was probably an extraordinary meeting of the supervisory board where it was decided. And I have to say that I don’t understand it at all. No matter who takes over now, Bayern really have to be careful. Because what they are doing now is unworthy of FC Bayern. I think you have to be careful that you don’t let yourself be divided or fall apart, because what you did today with this announcement is cheeky.”
Club president Hainer, on the other hand, defended the dramaturgy well after the final whistle. “It was incredibly important for us to only announce it after the game because we always said we wanted to concentrate 100 percent on the sport. As you can see, that worked. We’ve told the team now,” he said.
Salihamdzic, who was now also unemployed, later moved into the position. “Of course I would have liked to have continued because I really wanted to win the Champions League again with this team. It’s not an easy situation for me today, either emotionally,” said the 46-year-old. He drew a positive conclusion from his time in Munich. “I learned a lot. FC Bayern is something special, a club that will always be successful. That’s why I’m very proud of the time,” he said.
In his view, the current team is “the best in Europe”. Even if the team had “a bit of a problem” at the end of the season, he was convinced of the team: “The work was very good. I believe in the team, they will win the Champions League in the next few years.” In the future he wants to take a vacation first and then devote himself to other projects. “I hope the fans remember me fondly,” he said. Before that, however, he wanted to say goodbye to FC Bayern at the championship party. I will have FC Bayern in my heart,” he said. Unlike Kahn, he was allowed to attend the celebration.
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