Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic recently did an interview with club magazine 51. Among a bevy of topics discussed during the interview, he talked about what life has been like at Bayern during the corona crisis, the brand of football they’re playing under Hansi Flick, and what his duties will look like on the club’s executive board.
“Brazzo” has been Bayern’s sporting director since the 2017/2018 season. It was a season that saw Carlo Ancelotti sacked and replaced by Jupp Heynckes for the rescue act en route to the Bundesliga title. Since then, Brazzo has overseen the signings of players Leon Goretzka and Alphonso Davies and was responsible for overseeing contract extensions for Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry, and Joshua Kimmich among others.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on the ever-changing landscape of the transfer market. When asked about the future of the transfer market, Salihamidzic said that Bayern will perhaps benefit from having always run their club in a sensible manner and not getting lured in to spending the astronomical fees in the market that other clubs have:
Squad planning is always demanding, regardless of coronavirus. We have to think even more creatively and make our decisions under even greater pressure of responsibility. I think everyone will want some time to nurse their wounds after this. It’s a matter of survival. But you’re right: before coronavirus, the market had taken on absurd traits with transfers of more than €200 million. However, I can only speak for FC Bayern, and can therefore say that even in this phase before coronavirus, we have always managed our business sensibly. We will continue to do so in the future.
Additionally, Brazzo feels there’s going to be a shift in the amount of power players are going to have in transfer negotiations, which is one of the reasons they have such high wages and transfer fees. He still feels that elite players will still hold their value and warrant higher wages, but those fees might not look as ridiculous as they did before the corona crisis:
The top players will retain their value in the future. They probably won’t cost €200 million anymore, but they will still cost a lot of money. For example, we at FC Bayern start every year with the goal of winning titles. To achieve this, we have to look around for top players. Quality will always have its price. Overall, however, I too expect a significant cooling of the salary and transfer market, which was very hot until a few weeks ago.
Under Hansi Flick, Bayern has been playing an attractive, effective brand of football that has translated into success. Brazzo described it as “offensive, fast-paced” football:
We want to win, that’s clear, but we want to win with attractive, attacking football. We want to offer our fans a spectacle and 100% commitment. To achieve this, we are looking for players with qualities and character that match this. Offensive, fast-paced football with many goals. And it’s very important to me that you can see that our players also have a top mentality.
Brazzo will officially assume his position on Bayern’s executive board on the 1st of July as the “board director of sport.” Oliver Kahn will take over as chairman of the board and he’s already been working alongside Salihamidzic, Herbert Hainer, and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to get acclimated with the role. Salihamidzic described looking forward to the future with Kahn by saying they compliment each other well and said they’re the “next generation” in management at FC Bayern.
Although he’ll be stepping up to the executive board, Salihamidzic maintains that Bayern will not seek a new sporting director, the position he currently occupies. Logistically speaking, while his title slightly changes with his move to the board, his actual role and responsibilities as board director of sport won’t be very different. It’s all been a grooming process of sorts for him:
I can now look back on three years as sporting director. The first phase was designed to familiarize me with the processes of the club. Then we started to improve and tweak things. My area of responsibility grew from year to year. Professionals, young talent, squad planning, all the support teams, scouting, transfer market, data analysis development. It is an honor for me that I am now a member of the board. From an operational point of view, however, the new position does not change my areas of responsibility. I will continue to do my duties as I have done in the past. We’ll have to see what happens in the next two or three years. But for now, everything remains as it is.