Management: Andreas Rettig at the DFB: The representative of the average

Andreas Rettig (r.) and President Bernd Neuendorf want to maneuver the DFB out of the crisis.

Photo: imago/Jan Huebner

It was a harmonious event that ended late at lunchtime in the huge campus of the German Football Association (DFB). When Andreas Rettig was introduced as the new DFB managing director, the new man and DFB President Bernd Neuendorf passed the ball to each other so skillfully that one was almost inclined to believe what both of them emphasized several times: that both sides were looking forward to working together.

For the DFB, whose situation Rettig himself described on Monday as economically “challenging” and sportingly “difficult, but with bright spots,” the personnel is probably a flight forward. Meanwhile, Neuendorf admitted that Rettig “wasn’t on my list from the start” because he assumed that “his life plan didn’t include that.” Then Rettig, who received a contract from the DFB that runs until 2026, signaled interest. Dortmund’s managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke then gave the green light in his capacity as DFB vice-president. More about the red light from Leipzig and Munich later, especially since it was irrelevant to the decision-making process.

As harmonious as the verbal one-twos between Neuendorf and Rettig seemed on Monday, more innocuous names were probably initially discussed internally. The impression that, in addition to success and money, the DFB also lacked a coherent idea about its future position in society may have spoken very much in Rettig’s favor. After all, you can accuse him of a lot, but certainly not a lack of political awareness or the ability to successfully place his issues in the media.

In recent years, Rettig has campaigned on many channels for participatory football that not only takes the interests of the (stadium) spectators into account, but sees it as an opportunity. This is pretty much exactly the opposite model to the faster-higher-further that some grandees of the German Football League (DFL) favor – with the argument that you can only stay in the English Premier League with more external investors. However, these are neither the worries of the Bundesliga average nor those of the second division teams, one of which Rettig represented as managing director of FC St. Pauli for four years. And certainly not – we sometimes forget this – those of the millions of amateur footballers for whom the DFB is actually responsible.

However, these do not fall within Rettig’s future area of ​​responsibility. As managing director, he is in charge of the DFB youth team as well as the three directors, including the one for women’s football. When it comes to the men’s national teams, Rettig doesn’t see himself as someone “who runs onto the field and hugs the U17 coach.” Sports director Rudi Völler will also complete the search for a successor for former national coach Hansi Flick, while Rettig himself will oversee the financial terms of the contract.

When it came to finances, Rettig had repeatedly come into conflict with representatives of larger clubs. He had often called for a fairer distribution of television money, saying that the “gentrification” of the league had to be stopped. On Monday he also committed himself to the 50+1 rule, which is intended to limit the influence of investors: Anyone who wants to support German football is very welcome, but must “adhere to the rules of the game of German football.”

With such positions you make opponents, perhaps even enemies. Especially among those who make particularly high television money. The fact that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge from FC Bayern Munich and Oliver Mintzlaff from RB Leipzig gave up their membership in the DFB task force immediately after Rettig’s appointment is telling. Especially since Rummenigge and Rettig have been favorite opponents in recent years. The former once described Rettig as an “ideologist” and “king of hypocrites.” He countered more politely, but no less sharply, that Rummenigge had once been “an excellent striker”.

In addition to the many Rettig fans in the industry, there are also critics who begrudge him for his previous work as DFL managing director and then accuse him of changing too quickly from Saul to Paul. On Monday, Rettig was conciliatory. He “of course heard that I wasn’t necessarily FC Bayern’s preferred candidate” and on Friday, before his new job was announced, he “tried to get in touch with Mr. Hoeneß and Mr. Rummenigge.” However, this was unsuccessful; neither of them got back to me.

Rettig will still approach all of his critics. “And I would be happy if FC Bayern got involved in a way that does justice to its role in German football.” The DFB managing director promised that he himself would hold back on many topics in the future. However, a transformation back into Saul is obviously not to be expected: “Of course it’s a balancing act. I have a different role now. But my basic attitude will not change. A good manager doesn’t need to be told when to take a stand.”

#ndstays – Get active and order a promotional package

Regardless of whether it is pubs, cafés, festivals or other meeting places – we want to become more visible and reach everyone who values ​​independent journalism with an attitude. We have put together a campaign package with stickers, flyers, posters and buttons that you can use to get active and support your newspaper.
To the promotional package


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *