Bayern president Uli Hoeneß promises Sporting Director by fall
FC Bayern hasn’t had a sporting director for quite a while now. Did anyone notice? Club president Uli Hoeneß apparently thinks so.
He faced the press in the wake of the 4-0 preseason friendly beat down of his club at the hands of AC Milan. Yet he still managed to sound like a man whose only worry might be filling that job.
Divorcing Philipp Lahm
That’s odd. Mainly because Bayern’s separation earlier this year from club and Germany legend Philipp Lahm seemed a big cause of concern in Munich. Before the FCB skipper’s “sudden” retirement from the game this spring, he looked on course to being at Bayern to the bitter end. The end did turn out to be somewhat bitter. But it was a kind of bitterness that fans of the Bundesliga champions probably didn’t like.
Lahm stepped out of his contract at Bayern with one year remaining. Not only that, but he seemed to have kept his plans secret from everyone including Hoeneß and club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Bayern management all say now that they didn’t see it coming. And that one of their biggest disappointments in that regard is that Lahm’s abdication scotched the plans they had to name their former captain to be their future sporting director.
“Sporting director” positions are in vogue these days around the world of international club football. But ask five different “experts” what the term means and you’ll probably get ten different answers. No less than Arsène Wenger, of course, has become most famous for facing down any suggestion that he allow himself to be “kicked upstairs” by adopting that title at Arsenal.
In management, people are “kicked upstairs” because, though there really isn’t a good reason to fire them, even higher management wants them out. In the case of football and sports in general that usually means that it would cost more to break that person’s contract than to promote her or him.
Such a person evidently is Arsène Wenger. Perhaps too was Philipp Lahm.
In the rush to promote its younger players, Bayern may simply have wanted to make room on the field. The thinking may have been, promise Lahm an executive job title, give him a company car, whatever. Just make sure he is off the field. And sooner rather than later. Joshua Kimmich and his cohort are the future. And they’re probably a lot less expensive to employ at this point and much easier to negotiate with.
Whatever the reason, Lahm decided he would pull the pin himself before anyone else got the chance. So now he’s left the field a year early and left Bayern without a “sporting director” for a while.
“Fit and healthy”
Towards the end of his presser, Hoeneß declared Bayern-Munich “fit and healthy”. That’s hard to argue with. The club’s summer acquisition’s include both Corentin Tolisso of Lyon and James Rodriguez of Real Madrid.
But they are also in the crosshairs as well. The faithful are watching and waiting to see if there is a record 6th Bundesliga title coming…and of course because they want to know who is going to be the next sporting director.