By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, March 4 — Oliver Kahn’s plans to take over Bayern Munich as the Bavarians new chairman are beginning to take concrete shape. For the first time, the 49-year-old former German international confirmed negotiations with the 2013 treble winner.
According to the former Bayern goalkeeper, he is most likely joining the reigning German Champion as soon as January 2020 to start “a year of transition” and “get familiar with all that is behind a company achieving a turnover of over 700 million euro per year.”
Kahn is said to begin as a regular board member and then follow in the footsteps of current chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge from 2021 on when the former striker’s contract expires.
Kahn spoke about intense negotiations with Rummenigge, president Uli Hoeness, and the clubs board. He confirmed his great interest to do the next step in his career.
“I played for this club for 14 years and experienced a lot. My time at Bayern gave me so much. Therefore, this is a very emotional matter,” Kahn commented.
The 2002 Champions League winner said he is intending to approach things slowly as he has set up a career as a businessman. “I am responsible for my own companies and for my employees. You can’t just say I leave from one day to another and throw it all away,” Kahn emphasized.
2020 as a starting point “is fine with me, I have to sort out many things before,” Kahn said.
Rummenigge said the club regards it as a good idea of Kahn to first “take a close look for a year and then take over.” The 63-year-old 1980 European Champion said he is convinced Kahn has gained all skills necessary to rule a big club.
“He is deeply in football. And he has gained know-how in economics,” Rummenigge commented.
Kahn seems the ideal solution for Bayern. Rummenigge and Hoeness for long struggled to find a suitable successor. Negotiations will continue over the next months. The involved parties confirmed to be close to a final agreement.
Lothar Matthaeus, Germany’s most capped player (150), favours Kahn as the long-term solution for the future management of the country’s most successful club.
Matthaeus is convinced Kahn has a natural authority and enjoys everyone’s respect. “He is the face of the club and stands for its DNA. He is a true football expert, has developed as a businessman and has always been extremely ambitious,” the 57-year-old commented.
As a fact, hardly anybody else personifies Bayern more than the 86 times capped. The former German international not only played 632 games for the Bavarians but won eight league championships, six German Cups, the 2001 Champions League and 1996 UEFA Cup.
As a footballer, Kahn stood for a never-say-die attitude. Fans remember his famous quote “go on go on” demanding that his teammates waste no time despite his team being behind with only a few minutes to play.
Kahn has been successful with a company producing goalkeeping equipment. He has even graduated with a master’s degree in business administration.
Kahn would be ideal for bolstering the club’s efforts to a significant role in the international markets. The three-time World Goalkeeper of the Year and winner of the Golden Ball at the 2002 World Cup has a large fan base in nearly every country and is one of the most admired sportsmen in Asia.
In China, Karlsruhe-born Kahn is well known as a juror of a TV show broadcasted by CCTV (“China looks for the super keeper”). In Germany, Kahn works as a TV pundit analysing games at major tournaments and the German national team. – XINHUA