Bayern Munich: A Club of Refreshing Transparency in an Era of Football Secrecy

by Nicholas Herrmann

Love them or hate them—and let’s be perfectly honest with each other, German football fans truly do lie on either end of the spectrum—Bayern Munich are a great club.

Toss aside the 22 German championships, 15 DFB-Pokal wins, four UEFA Champions League titles and an unwavering ever-presence near the top of the Bundesliga table, and they still boast something precious few footballing outfits in the world can: A straight-shooting dialogue with the public and fans.

Just this week, speaking to Germany’s Sport Bild, FC Hollywood sporting director Christian Nerlinger laid his club’s summer transfer window plans out for all to see.

When asked about the rumoured return of the recently departed Mark van Bommel and Martín Demichelis, this season shipped out to A.C. Milan and Málaga respectively, Nerlinger responded with a succinct, “We will definitely not resign players that have previously left the club.”

Intention stamped.

He would go on to add, “We have to make a few signings at the back. We need at least two, and perhaps even three, additions to our back line.”

Aims made public.

Nerlinger proceeded to confirm the club’s tracking of Benfica’s Fábio Coentrão and Gregory van der Wiel of Ajax, branding them “interesting players,” before axing word linking der Rekordmeister with Hannover standout Emanuel Pogatetz.

No secrecy in names.

FC Bayern Munich simply do not beat around the bush with regard to on-field personnel, nor do they allow things to dangle in uncertainty as they ride the Bundesliga coaching carousel.

The Bayern boardroom had been having trouble with Dutch bench boss Louis van Gaal for months, and no bones were made about it in the media on either side.

When it all came to a head and was confirmed that the club would be parting ways with Van Gaal at the end of the season back in March, it took just a couple of days for them to sew up and announce a deal with former FCB headman and current Bayer Leverkusen gaffer, Jupp Heynckes.

In a season seeing 10 managerial changes, five of which resulting in long spells with caretakers at the helm of Bundesliga clubs, Bayern’s efficiency and clear-cut aims cannot be left unappreciated.

All of this talk and transparency may stem from a bullish set of decision makers and board of directors filled to the brim with big personalities and even bigger egos in Franz Beckenbauer, Karl Heinz-Rummenigge, Uli Hoeneß and Nerlinger himself—leading many to the aforementioned “hate” option with the Bavarians—but is it really that bad?

In today’s world of Mourinho mind games, Benítez insanity, Wenger secrecy and transfer rumour mills spraying the names of anyone and everyone in good form with links to everywhere from Milan to Minsk, Nerlinger and Bayern’s general forthcoming nature is a breath of fresh air.

Long may the straightforwardness continue in Bavaria; soon may other clubs take up the policy.