Commentary: The next sporting director should not be selected by trial and error!
The work a sporting director does for the club is not fully determinable, hence Matthias Sammer’s job was often reduced on communicating to the press. His approach always was to act anticyclic, which meant to praise in hard times and to warn in good times. The role cannot be described as superior but more like an “equal authority”.
Sammer’s opinion was always wanted by the other board members and even without too much power, he still was an important piece of the puzzle. Right now there is a big hole that needs to be filled. At first Philipp Lahm became the main focus after the annual general meeting (AGM) in November, but right now there are several indicators pointing in Max Eberl’s direction.
The determination on how the new sporting director has to act in the future is key to determine who will get the job. The preferences should be obvious.
Taking Max Eberl means bringing a Bavarian back to his roots at Bayern Munich, where he played for 12 years (1979-1991). He already has eight years of experience in his position, as sporting director and manager at Borussia Mönchengladbach, and might be available due to a release-clause in his contract.
The Express-paper quoted Eberl, that the move to FC Bayern would be the final step for him to reach a top-level management position in pro-football. With him the whole club could be looking forward to an experienced manager, who is ready for the next step. He knows the international transfer business and would even be a fitting solution to scout youth teams during the winter break. Eberl, who might be excited to hear from the Bavarian authorities, will hope that both clubs are able to reach an agreement regarding his future. His experience is the key to take on a new challenge like Bayern Munich.
Is it even possible that the current leaders of the club are willing to take another risk like when they appointed Christian Nerlinger, who had no experience and reputation when he started?
That is exactly why Philipp Lahm is more and more unlikely to become sporting director in the near future. Stepping from the locker-room into the office and becoming superior to his current teammates could be difficult.
He is an outstanding player, who has won every club title as well as the world cup. His enthusiasm towards business in general is also quite known. But is that enough to understand specific business-processes in time? Due to his quiet personality, will he be able to replace Matthias Sammer regarding communication? And would making Lahm sporting director be against the current policy to fill position with experts only?
Dreesen does finances, Reschke takes care of transfers, Jung does marketing and Wacker is in charge of international relations. Lahm as a rookie should handle all sports related decisions for the club? That cannot be the correct decision for an European top-level competitor?
The decision should be made rather rational (Eberl) than emotional (Lahm) to keep the club on track.
Philipp Lahm needs to gain experience before taking over a management position at FC Bayern. In addition to that, a sheer communicator is not really needed with Hoeneß and Rummenigge still in charge of the club.
To succeed Rummenigge in his position will be way more suitable for Lahm, which might be even better for the clubs public image in the future. After finishing his career in 2017 or 2018, he still has enough time to prepare for challenges like this, either at FC Bayern or somewhere else.
Taking all arguments into consideration, Max Eberl is the perfect option to fill the hole right now.