German football outfit Bayern Munich has officially announced that its former captain Oliver Kahn will return to the club as a board member from next year and as chief executive in 2022.
The 50-year-old Kahn will join the board on a five-year contract from January 1, 2020, eventually replacing Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as chief executive and chairman when the latter’s contract expires on December 31, 2021. The club’s board voted unanimously in favour of Kahn’s appointment at a meeting on Thursday, 29 August.
Kahn’s appointment has been rumoured for several weeks now. Earlier this month, German daily Bild reported that the Champions League-winning goalkeeper was spending a probationary period at Bayern “evaluating” the club.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness also confirmed that he would be ending his 50-year association with the club and taking retirement at the end of his current term in November. Hoeness joined Bayern as a player in 1970 before being appointed as general manager in 1979 and eventually president in 2009.
The departures of Rummenigge and Hoeness have long been expected, with the pair having overseen the club together in their current roles for the past decade – a period of significant commercial growth for Bayern. 2017-18 saw the club post record financial results, with overall turnover of €650m ($724m) being accompanied by profits of €136.5m, a 26th consecutive year of profit.
Despite this, the pair’s relations have rarely been straightforward, with German outlet Sport1 reporting that friction between the two has been one of the major factors behind Hoeness’ decision not to stand for re-election this year. Their relationship was also strained when Hoeness was convicted of tax evasion in 2014 and sentence to three-and-a-half years in prison. Despite this, he remained in his role as Bayern president.
Hoeness has recommended Herbert Hainer, former chief executive of German sportswear giant adidas, as his successor. Bayern’s members will vote for the new president at the club’s annual general assembly in November, with Hainer currently expected to run uncontested.
Of his appointment, Kahn said: “It is a great honour to initially become a member of the board and then take over the chairman role at Bayern Munich. I am deeply connected with the club and it has decisively shaped my life. Sporting and financial success, solidarity with the fans, a responsible approach towards the club’s history and values – that is what FC Bayern stands for.”
Hoeness described Kahn as “the perfect solution for the position” and added that he was “the right man to lead FC Bayern into the future”.