Munich (dpa) - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge turns into the personal home straight as head of FC Bayern Munich.
On September 25th, after the game for the European Supercup against Sevilla FC, the CEO of the German record champions will be 65.
At the age of 66, he wants to pass "the baton" on to ex-national goalkeeper Oliver Kahn (51).
The deadline of December 31, 2021 is set in stone for him.
"I am not one of those people who consider themselves irreplaceable," said Rummenigge in an interview with the German press agency, in which he also spoke about his plans for the last 15 months.
The agenda includes “three things in particular”.
What does the number 65 mean to you?
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: You used to retire at 65.
Now you just get a year older.
I don't make a big fuss about this birthday.
I'm not going to have a big party.
When we come back from Budapest - ideally with the trophy - I'll celebrate with my family in the evening.
That's how I did it for my 60th.
I flew to Italy with the whole family.
We spent a nice long weekend there.
That was wonderful.
The family is sacred and very important to my wife and me.
In a year, when you turn 66, you want to step down as Bayern boss.
What's on your agenda for the past 15 months?
Rummenigge: Three things in particular.
First, that we stay on track in terms of sport.
We have been for eight years.
We have just achieved something extraordinary with the triple.
Now it is important to preserve this great success so that there is something to celebrate again in 2021.
The second major goal concerns Corona and the economic consequences of the pandemic: FC Bayern Munich is also facing a financially challenging year.
We have to manage this situation in order to get away financially with a black eye, like last season.
Blue eye means?
Rummenigge: Due to the games without spectators in ticketing, sponsoring and merchandising, we had shortfall in income in the double-digit million range.
The same applies to all professional clubs.
Borussia Dortmund has reported a loss of 43 million euros.
But the pain for all football in Europe will be even greater in the coming season than in the past season, regardless of whether the clubs are Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Mainz 05 or Eintracht Frankfurt.
It will hit everyone financially hard.
And what is the third important point on the agenda?
Rummenigge: A big personal concern for me is the further training of Oliver Kahn.
When I hand over the baton to him at the end of 2021, it has to be seamless.
It is important that he merges his ideas with my experience, which I was then able to gain as Chairman of the Board of Management for 20 years, and that he is then so fit that Bayern Munich continues to stay on track as successfully as I have fortunately in my entire era was allowed to experience.
Could a situation arise for you precisely because of the Corona crisis in which you would rethink or postpone your plans to withdraw?
When the sun is shining, my job is pleasant, personable and fun.
You have to show management skills when crises arise.
We are a well-rehearsed team here on the Executive Board, we tackle it together and will hopefully come out of the corona crisis with a black eye this season as well.
So is December 31, 2021 the deadline?
There is no other scenario that I have in mind, by the way, not even to end my job beforehand.
An FC Bayern without Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge seemed unimaginable until recently.
Hoeneß retired from the front row ten months ago.
You will do that soon.
Could the caesura be surprisingly noiseless?
Rummenigge: It must be the goal of a club like Bayern Munich that what follows is also of high quality.
I think that the duo Herbert Hainer as president and successor to Uli Hoeneß and Oliver Kahn as my successor will continue to hold up the Bayern Munich flag in a positive sense.
I'm not worried about that at all.
Besides, I'm not one of those people who think they're irreplaceable.
Is it really that easy for you to let go?
Rummenigge: I'll tell you the following story: I saw Franz Beckenbauer leave the club for New York in 1977.
Everyone thought that was it now with Bayern Munich.
There was also irritation for a few months, but after that it continued.
What does that tell us?
If Bayern Munich can replace a Franz Beckenbauer, this club can do it all.
A few years ago I also resigned from the European club association ECA.
Here, too, I noticed that after ten years you have to let go and trust a younger person.
But is that comparable to quitting at Bayern?
Rummenigge: Of course, the emotions at Bayern Munich are greater.
I've been here practically since I was 18.
In 1991 I came back to the club as vice president.
And when I quit, I was CEO for 20 years.
What I will miss is the inner nervousness in the stadium during the games.
I always knew we'd win and we'd have a great weekend.
If we lose, it gets restless.
Then everything has to be readjusted with the coach and the team in the next game.
But it is part of life that at some point you have to let go and trust your successors.
How much does the current sporting high facilitate the upheaval at management level?
And what part does Hansi Flick, the builder of the Triples 2020, have in this?
Rummenigge: Management has to create the conditions that enable you to be successful.
And the team and the coach must try to play successful football with these conditions.
When Hansi took over as head coach in November, it was a stroke of luck for Bayern.
It was as if someone had switched the light on again.
How he did it is à la bonheur.
We can count ourselves lucky.
And Hansi is a great guy.
How did he make FC Bayern number 1 in Europe?
Rummenigge: Hansi does the job as if he had been doing it as head coach for decades, with his experience, his tactics, the training leadership and especially his empathy.
Fortunately, this radiates inwards and outwards.
We must now accompany him well to keep that up.
Hansi has succeeded in reintroducing the FC Bayern playing culture that we used to enjoy under Pep Guardiola, Jupp Heynckes and Louis van Gaal.
I have never seen that all players really support one philosophy like that.
It is a great achievement that Hansi has had a lasting positive influence on the character of the team.
The old Herberger sentence applies to us: One for all, all for one.
You have already mentioned Oliver Kahn.
He has now been a member of the board for nine months.
How do you experience it?
Rummenigge: I experience him as a very good quality and loyal colleague, the cooperation is very harmonious.
By the way, everyone here on the boardroom feels that way.
Can he also be CEO?
He has two good prerequisites.
He's had a football career that was one plus.
And it should be my successor who has soccer know-how.
In addition, after his active career, he has acquired other important things, important knowledge.
Because nowadays football has a lot to do with finance, marketing and networking.
I have no concerns that he will make a good CEO.
As you can hear, Oliver Kahn would like to develop a new strategy.
In which direction should this go?
Rummenigge: It will innovatively take account of the new world of football.
We are in the age of digitization.
As FC Bayern we have to face this world out there, which is changing faster than ever before.
The world won't change because FC Bayern wants to change it.
We have to adapt to this world.
And I also believe that the next few years will also bring financial challenges, even for FC Bayern.
You have been CEO since FC Bayern was transformed into an AG almost 20 years ago.
How has the club changed since then?
Rummenigge: We can be very satisfied with the development of FC Bayern München AG.
It was founded back then to be able to build our wonderful stadium.
Our financial circumstances were not as rosy 20 years ago as they were at least before the Corona crisis.
The Allianz Arena is the key to everything we represent today.
It was a spot on.
I hope that as CEO I have made more good than bad decisions over the years.
I don't like to pat myself on the shoulder that much.
In business life, the CEO of a company is usually a top earner.
How does it look in professional football?
What is the position of the CEO in the structure of FC Bayern with highly paid stars like Robert Lewandowski or Manuel Neuer?
Rummenigge: I would say that football is comparable to the film business in Hollywood.
The head of the studio is not the best-paid person either, but the actors.
The protagonists are down on the lawn with us.
Incidentally, I have always been paid very satisfactorily at Bayern Munich.
But I don't like talking about money.
I am very fortunate to have been able to lead a privileged life thanks to football since I was 18.
What comes after December 31, 2021?
Will you continue to sit in the stands weekly?
What future for Bavaria are you planning for yourself?
Rummenigge: I don't intend to be on any committee.
I don't have a concrete plan yet for what I'll do on January 1st, 2022.
But I'm not afraid of it either.
Hopefully I won't get bored.
I have a big family.
As a player, I was a slave to the schedule.
I will certainly watch games with a certain regularity because I have always enjoyed the stadium culture that we lack so much without spectators.
Will you then be able to watch the games more relaxed because you no longer have to think about the consequences of a failure, such as a possible dismissal of a coach?
Rummenigge: I'll take the fan's perspective.
And of course, we also had a year here in which we sat a bit sour at the table.
But we have been kissed by the muse of success at FC Bayern for 50 years.
There may still be Real Madrid in Europe, maybe even FC Barcelona, who have experienced this in this quality.
Could you stimulate new areas of responsibility outside of FC Bayern?
A position in the German Football Association?
In the German Football League?
Or again internationally?
Rummenigge: I've always known what I can and cannot do.
I am completely unsuitable for an office in an association.
I need the game because that has always been the focus of my work.
At Bayern Munich, it was always important to me that football had the number one priority and that the finances were serious and solid.
We have always achieved that in my 19 years on the board.
Football has to be the focus, that's the big difference to many clubs in Europe.
When football is good, finances come with a certain automatism.
How much did you shape the years in Italy when you played for Inter Milan?
Rummenigge: You made a big change in me.
I went to Italy at ease and came back a changed person.
My attitude towards life has changed.
The Italians live in the here and now, enjoy the day and don't always live for tomorrow.
The food, the culture, the climate, the people - Italy has a lot to offer.
The best would be a mix of Italy and Germany.
If you could mix the pleasant sides of both countries and cultures, it would probably come out as something like paradise.
ABOUT THE PERSON: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, born on September 25, 1955 in Lippstadt, has been CEO of FC Bayern Munich since 2002.
Before that he was vice president.
The triple winnings in 2013 and 2020 also fall during his term of office. The record champions are number one in the Bundesliga in terms of sport and business.
As a world-class striker, he won several titles with FC Bayern, and he also played for Inter Milan and Servette Geneva.
With Germany he was twice vice world champion and 1980 European champion.
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FC Bayern title wins
The FC Bayern Munich AG
Board member FC Bayern
Player profile Rummenigge with statistics