Although it was known precisely when both Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge were going to step down from their front office positions at Bayern Munich, it didn’t change how much of a shift it was going to be at the club. They are both a massive part of what makes Bayern so successful, not only as a football club, but also as a global brand. Nonetheless, as much as they left behind when stepping down as president and CEO, respectively, they knew they were leaving their positions in good hands with Herbert Hainer and Oliver Kahn, both working alongside Hasan Salihamidzic.
For Kahn, Hainer, and Salihamidzic, it wasn’t exactly the easiest circumstance to begin their reign comprising the front office right around the time the coronavirus pandemic broke out. Of course, Kahn had been shadowing Rummenigge for quite some time prior and Brazzo had already been serving as the club’s sporting director, but it was still an increasingly difficult challenge to adapt and naviagate through all of the hardships posed by the pandemic, especially on a financial front.
As someone who is mainly in charge of the club’s transfer targets and strategies, Brazzo had to work his way through reduced finances in the winter and summer transfer windows that were closest to the two-month pause in matches the pandemic caused. This past summer, Bayern finally had what many would consider to be a solid transfer window, bringing in Noussair Mazraoui, Ryan Gravenberch, Sadio Mane, Matthijs de Ligt and Mathys Tel. While he is chiefly responsible for the transfers, Brazzo doesn’t go at it entirely alone.
In a recent edition of Bayern Munich club magazine “51” in a recent interview, Brazzo spoke about the ways he works alongside both Kahn and Hainer — they are able to form a cohesive unit that works well. “The three of us form a very good unit and I’m pleased that Herbert Hainer is standing for election again. Our processes have become very well coordinated. My team and I try to find out what our squad needs, and then I discuss that with Oliver first. As soon as we agree, we discuss the budget with Herbert Hainer and Jan-Christian Dreesen,” Brazzo explained, shedding some light on the flow of just how, exactly, transfer decisions are made.
Kahn, Hainer, and Brazzo are also often in consultation with Bayern’s executive and supervisory boards for a multitude of different decisions that need to be made — it’s not just the three of them that call of the shots, so to speak. In that past, the club has suffered from cross-bard ego battles, which presented its own set of roadblocks that could be difficult to navigate around and cause a varying degree of breakdowns in communication. With that said, Brazzo said he likes how there’s currently tight and quick lines of communication, which helps things move a lot quicker.
“We have short lines of communication – that’s important. The transfers this summer are the result. We have all been decisive - both in terms of purchases and sales,” Brazzo explained. It’s clear that the entire front office and the boards were on the same page with the players that needed to be brought in and they delivered with high quality players that were all pre-planned well before the window even opened, according to Brazzo.