For 15 years, Herbert Hainer was CEO of adidas and played a key role in the company’s extraordinary success. At the FC Bayern Munich Annual General Meeting on 15 November, Hainer is standing for election as president. A portrait of Uli Hoeneß’ designated successor. PRESIDENT FOR EVERYONE I will try to be president for all members, all fans and all FC Bayern Munich’s sports disciplines. Of course, the greatest focus by far is on football, but we now have a basketball team that has become German champions, , that competes against the biggest clubs on the European stage, that is incredibly successful. We have a chess section that has gained promotion to the Bundesliga. Of course, the spotlight falls more on football and then basketball, but the club is more than that and I want to try to be president of it all. GOALS We all want sporting success, there’s no question about that. If you’re an athlete, you want to win, and of course we want to win the Champions League again. Of course, the basketball team wants to play at the top at some point in the future and hopefully be among the best eight in Europe. I think it’s a good thing, it’s the motivation, the drive that you have to have. DREAM FINAL FC Bayern versus Barcelona, and we win the Champions League – that’s definitely something I would like. FIXED DEPOSIT ACCOUNT Nowadays we no longer have a business that only relates to the German Bundesliga, rather it’s a business to do with European football, international football and you can see that now from the transfer sums that are flying around. Our fixed deposit account used to be… It had a unique selling point. Today you pay €220 million for one player. So there will certainly be new challenges for FC Bayern. Do we want to compete in those markets? Do we want to focus more on promoting young talent? The one will probably not work without the other. How can you try to bring both together, on the one hand having to invest, while on the other hand making sure we’re not only dependent on the transfer market? And, despite all this global interaction, how can you still be a home and cornerstone for your members and your fans? Because there are also many big clubs that are successful in a sporting sense, but which are no longer a base for the fans, rather they are – let’s say in an exaggerated sense – a bunch of footballers who have been flung together, but where there is no longer any connection to the fans and to the club. And that’s what FC Bayern Munich stands for, that it has these firm roots. And Uli Hoeneß in particular was an absolute champion for reintegrating the fans, the base, the members. That’s not always easy, because you have a lot of interests these days, , but I think that must also be the aspiration of the club. COMMON SENSE AND FORESIGHT I believe that, on the one hand, FC Bayern Munich would always do everything to provide an attractive team. We owe that to our fans and our members. On the other hand, I also believe that we don’t have to go along with every financial insanity. And there are also opportunities between the two. FC Bayern has proven that well over the last ten or twenty years. By being successful, by working in a sound commercial manner. There are few clubs that have their own stadium, which is completely paid off, and so on and so on… you know all this.
And I believe that this will be the challenge of the future. As I said, with transfer sums, the situation changes daily, and you have to accept that. But as far as I’m concerned, you always have to look at it with financial common sense and foresight too. THE FOOTBALL FAN Well, I’m still, I’d say, an old-school football fan. When I watch football I need peace and quiet, watch the match. And then I get excited about what’s happening on the pitch, regardless of whether it’s a goal or a defensive situation or whatever. Then it’s just 90 minutes of absolutely concentrating on the game. IDOLS I can remember when a young Franz Beckenbauer started to play and showed a particular deftness of foot. Before that, football, including Bundesliga football – at least if you saw it on television – was hard work. And then this young guy Franz Beckenbauer came along and played with ease. I always compare it a bit to Cassius Clay in boxing back then. Heavyweight boxing was big, fat, heavy men, who slugged it out and then along came this thin Cassius Clay, who was just much faster on his feet and demonstrated boxing in a very different way – and was very successful at it. And that’s how I think Franz Beckenbauer was, too. NO DESSERT As the number of business meals grew, I was out almost every evening for business dinners, abroad and here here and at some point I thought: ‘I can’t keep eating everything and having wine with it.’ And I always drink a glass of wine too, so it won’t work anymore. Because I don’t want to get out of shape either. And then I had to decide on the one thing or the other, and I decided against the dessert and in favour of the glass of wine. NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT RUNNING SHOES Yes, as I get older, it’s less and less the case. But it used to always be like that, I always had running shoes. When I was in America I was always the first one in the gym at 5 am because I couldn’t sleep anymore. Then I would go straight to the gym. Yes, it’s part of my rhythm and also part of my well-being. If I couldn’t do any more sport, it would be a heavy blow. BROTHER WITH THE LIONS Well, it’s been well-documented by film, radio and television so it would make no sense not to mention that. But of course… I mean, that shows how tremendous the achievements of FC Bayern Munich have been. When I recall that in 1963, 1860 Munich were founding members of the Bundesliga and FC Bayern played in the regional league. At that time, ’60 was the club in Munich. When you look at it from today’s perspective, it shows on the one hand that ’60 Munich certainly played excellent football back then – they also became champions 1966 – but on the other hand the complete turnaround in the development of the two clubs. And I think that this picture alone shows just how marvellous the achievements of FC Bayern Munich and the people involved have been. FIRST STADIUM EXPERIENCE Well, my first encounter was actually at 1860 Munich because I had an uncle here in Munich. He took me to see ’60 play football back then at Grünwalder Straße. But I can’t say that I was an absolute ’60 fan. For me it was just great then – I come from Dingolfing, that’s 100 kilometres away from here to be in the stadium and watch a Bundesliga team. But Bayern always impressed me somehow, especially when they had that great run and the players we had like Beckenbauer, Müller, Maier and everyone who came afterwards. That’s really impressive. I’ve really always been a Bayern fan. FRIENDSHIP I can remember, back then the whole of the press attacked Uli Hoeneß, and besides that, people were also reluctant to support him. I’ve always spoken about it in public and said: ‘Yes, he made a mistake, he admitted it himself.’ But when you look at his life’s work, you have to weigh things up against each other. And the positive things he’s achieved, for the club and for society, mean you can perhaps allow him one transgression. And on top of that he admitted to it and served his sentence. And I also found it incredibly wonderful that he said immediately after the trial: ‘OK, right – I’ve now been convicted.’ His lawyer – if my memory serves me correctly – immediately said: ‘We’re going to appeal,’ and he said: ‘No, that’s out of the question. I’m responsible for it. I made the mistake, I stand by it now and I’m going to pay the price.’ And that also shows the mindset and attitude that a person has. That is really admirable. You have to say that very clearly A person who does as much as Uli Hoeneß will of course inevitably make one or two mistakes, but as I said he’s also admitted to it and that’s what impresses me so much. That’s why, when it happened, I immediately asked: when will it be possible to visit him? I want to know how he’s doing and I also want to give him some support. It was the same but the other way round when our daughter died. The first one who called me was Uli Hoeneß, asking how he could help and what he could do. And that, for me, is real friendship. When we’re doing well, we have many supposed friends around us, but you only notice who’s there for you and who helps you when things are really bad. That, for me, is the meaning of friendship. SENSE OF JUSTICE I don’t know if it’s down to my upbringing or my genes but I have an acute sense of justice. I am not someone who is afraid to criticise and to speak out clearly, but if someone is treated unfairly I find that absolutely inappropriate. WORK AND FUN I’m also convinced that you have to enjoy your work. If the fun isn’t there, if you don’t like going to work, you’re not going to be able to produce a peak performance. Of course, the environment has to be right, the money has to be right, and the company you work in, but you also have to go to work with passion and enthusiasm. Only then will you be able to deliver a top performance. PRINCIPLES They say I’m very down-to-earth and in my opinion, part of that is that one has to reflect oneself and not take oneself too seriously. And everybody makes mistakes and I think that’s absolutely OK. I only get annoyed if someone makes the same mistake twice. That shows they’re not ready to learn and not willing to learn. But otherwise, anyone who does something, who acts, also makes mistakes. It’s the same in football. If someone only has five touches of the ball in a game, he doesn’t have many chances to make a mistake. If someone constantly demands the ball, if someone wants to be the playmaker, he’ll also make a bad pass or run, but in the end he’s also the one who’ll be the deciding factor in whether the game is won or lost. You prefer that? Absolutely. Of course. I don’t want to be a follower. ROLE DISTRIBUTION I believe this is the only way you can develop. If no one speaks their mind anymore, we will really end up with the same old at some point, and everyone will either say yes or everyone will say no. But the world isn’t that simple. And I compare that to a football team. They also want to have different types of players and different characters in a football team. You need some who want to be creative, you need some who want to lead the way in certain situations and, conversely, you also need workers, good team players. It’s always the case that a left or right back won’t score as many goals as a striker and therefore won’t get as many plaudits. Nevertheless, he’s just as important for a team and for the success of the team. And in my opinion that’s how it has to be in a company. PRESSURE I also believe that’s a parallel between Uli Hoeneß and myself. When we’re under pressure, we perform to our best ability. TRANSITION Well, I think there was a lot of recognition for Uli Hoeneß at first. For what he achieved. But also because he said: ‘OK, I’ve thought all this through and I’ve also agreed it with my family. I don’t want to stick around forever. And that’s why I’ve come to this decision and I ask you to show some understanding.’ First of all, that was the recognition. And then I think there was relief and recognition that there’s a reasonable transition. I’m the longest-serving member of the supervisory board at Bayern. I’ve been deputy chairman of the supervisory board since 2002, more or less since the AG was created. I even managed the supervisory board for six months when Uli wasn’t there. I know the club inside out of course, and know the other people on the supervisory board. And I don’t think there was anyone who wasn’t of the opinion that if Uli Hoeneß is to step down, the way we planned the transition is a sensible solution. PRIDE AND HONOUR It is – at least I think it is – a job that is imbued with tremendous pride and honour, to be president of one of the world’s largest clubs. A club that enjoys so much recognition in the world, that has such loyal members and fans, that’s supported like it is and not only in Bavaria. I experienced it when I travelled around the world. It’s certainly a great honour and one can be proud if one is allowed to hold this office. HOENEß THE ADVISOR One thing must also be said very clearly: Uli Hoeneß hasn’t disappeared off the face of the earth. He lives 40 km from here. He‘ll continue to be FC Bayern Munich’s biggest fan, both in football and basketball. We’re friends. I will involve Uli Hoeneß as far as he wants to be involved and ask him for advice, especially on basketball matters. We’ve already agreed on that. And where that’s concerned, he’s been the driving force par excellence and the reason basketball is where it is. And if I’m also able to get this advice and this support for nothing… I would be stupid if I didn’t accept it. EXPERIENCE Yes, it is of course impossible to follow Uli Hoeneß, because I think he is unique in his way. The way he as a young guy – I think he became general manager at 29 – the way he developed FC Bayern, how he tackled things, how open he was to looking out into the wider world. I think he went to America at first to see how other clubs did things, not only in football, but also in other sports. The Americans have always been a bit ahead of us in terms of marketing. And then you can only say it’s unique, his life’s work and the history he made with FC Bayern Munich. What unites us is our love for FC Bayern, our passion for the club and for football and I think it’s a major factor. I certainly don’t have as much football expertise as Uli Hoeneß, not by a long chalk. But I managed a major company for 15 years. I enjoyed a 40-year professional career, some of it with international companies. I also worked for Procter & Gamble, a large American global corporation, and I’m sure I can use that experience and knowledge. NETWORK Well, I’ll do whatever it takes to help and support the club, and if my network and connections can contribute to that, of course I’ll use them, no question about it. AMBITIONS I’ll certainly spend as much time as is necessary to run this club in an excellent manner, there’s no question about that. And I’m in the lucky situation that I can also take the time. As you know, I don’t have an active professional career, and of course it’s my ambition – and it’s related to the make-up of my personality – to do this as well as possible. Again, losing is not an alternative OLIVER KAHN I believe Oliver Kahn is an excellent match for FC Bayern. He played here for over ten years, was one of the guarantors of success, was figurehead at FC Bayern Munich. I think he represents the gene, FC Bayern, mia san mia, and we want to be successful better than anyone else. He has the football expertise, knows the club, and that’s why he’s a really great choice in my opinion. MODERN MANAGEMENT Oliver Kahn brings to the table that which I don’t have – this football expertise at the highest level, and I believe, with my experience in the corporate and business sector I can certainly give Oliver Kahn a tip or two. Since I learned it from the bottom up, studied it and then learned a great deal through my training at Proctor’s concerning modern management, business leadership and control, I can certainly give him one or two tips if he wants them. FC BAYERN FAN Well, first of all, I think this club is incredible. I’ve already said that two or three times. I’ve grown together with the club, as a fan and then as a member of the supervisory board for the last 18 years. I find the other people here incredibly professional, passionate, and when you see what has emerged from FC Bayern Munich, my only choice when I got the chance was to become president of FC Bayern Munich.