Bayern president Uli Hoeness made headlines two weeks ago when he openly speculated about his own eventual retirement and furthermore when he declared that a roster “revolution” or “upheaval” is on the horizon for Bayern Munich. Should Bayern also, perhaps, look into a front office rebuild in the near future? Perennial Bundesliga commentator and Bayern legend Lothar Matthäus believes the time is drawing nigh.
In addition to the potential roster overhaul in the summer that Hoeness hinted at, Matthäus feels that Bayern should also be looking for replacements for Hoeness, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and perhaps even sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. Speaking to Bild, Matthäus argues that adjustments should be made to Bayern’s front office after both Hoeness and Rummenigge eventually lay down the positions they have held for so long:
It’s like how it is on the pitch. Thus far, they’ve neglected to cultivate strong successors — with all due respect for the lifelong work of Uli Hoeneß. And also for Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who gave the club first-class and successful leadership in Uli’s absence. Both of them know, however, where certain things no longer function like they did ten years ago. And that a change of leadership is coming ever closer. Just like when they themselves took over from their predecessors.
Specifically, Matthäus made the recommendation for Hoeness to become an honorary vice president, and for Rummenigge to take over as president. Goalkeeping legend and now ZDF TV expert Oliver Kahn could step in as the new CEO:
Uli becomes honorary president like Franz Beckenbauer, but should also stay out of the day-to-day business as much as possible. Kalle succeeds him as new president and head of the advisory board [i.e. of FC Bayern e.V.]. And Oliver Kahn takes over the office of chairman of the board [i.e. of FC Bayern AG] from Rummenigge.
Kahn, he feels, represents everything that is Bayern Munich and could prove to be a perfect fit as CEO of the club:
He’s a face of FC Bayern, he has Bayern-DNA in him. Oliver is an outstanding expert in soccer. He was always ambitious, always educated himself further, including in economic matters. I trust him to lead FC Bayern into the future.
Matthäus also acknowledges that Hasan Salihamidzic is under fire as Bayern’s sporting director. If Brazzo continues to struggle, Matthäus believes that Bayern should consider bringing in RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff, who’s been doing a fantastic job for Die Roten Bullen:
Hasan Salihamidzic is having a tough time at the moment. I hope that he manages to make it. I wish him that form the bottom of my heart. But if he doesn’t make it, I could imagine Oliver Mintzlaff in this position at Bayern. He’s doing a first-rate job at RB Leipzig and is extremely well-connected internationally.
Matthäus is not someone who shies away from making his opinions heard, but his call for changes in Bayern’s front office could be premature. Kahn has been coy when asked about a potential return to Bayern. He responded, “Everything in its time” to a direct question whether he might succeed Hoeness.
Hoeness himself has also said that he would like to keep his position for at least another 2-3 years before passing on the torch. Hoeness also candidly said he has no idea who might replace him, since it’s far too early to predict. He went as far as saying that Bayern should be looking for an elusive “unicorn.”