The news broke yesterday that our sporting director Christoph Freund is leaving us at the start of September after 17 years and is moving to FC Bayern Munich. That was the reason for a press conference today, in which our general manager Stephan Reiter and Christoph Freund answered questions from the media. All the key views from that are included here:
Stephan Reiter on…
… the plans of Christoph Freund:
After 17 years with us, Christoph wanted to make this change. We are a club that make careers possible and not a club that gets in the way of career plans. We will continue to follow this well-established Salzburg Way determinedly in the future. Our discussions with FC Bayern went very well, so we agreed to terminate the contract in September.
… the remaining time together:
They will be six intensive weeks, but that has always been the case in recent years. Our full focus is now on putting the final touches of the squad together with Matthias Jaissle, and I am really looking forward to that.
Christoph Freund on…
… the announcement of his move:
The last few days and hours have been really difficult and turbulent. Bayern approached me a while ago and made their interest clear. It's simply one of the best places in world football, and a club that really stands for something.
… making a decision together:
I went straight to Stephan [Reiter] after the initial discussions, as we have a good and very sincere relationship. We spoke a lot about it. Anyone who knows me knows that I love the club here. It's not just a job, it's a dream I've been able to live in recent years. Stephan showed his understanding that this is a very special chance for me, and I really appreciate that.
… the coming weeks:
We have our first competitive match of the season at the weekend. The club have really big aims, and we want to take the double to Salzburg again. We will give everything to work on every last detail and ensure that Matthias Jaissle has just the squad he needs to take on this challenge. We have a really good energy in the team at the moment, and I think that the fans are going to enjoy the team next season.
… discussions with Bayern Munich:
They were discussions in a small group within a nice atmosphere at Tegernsee with Uli Hoeneß, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Jan-Christian Dreesen. I had a good feeling right from the start. I made a decision on what I wanted very soon. There were other discussions to be had, of course, including with my family. The decision was made a few weeks ago, but nothing became known in the public, which speaks well of everyone on both sides.
… the further development of FC Red Bull Salzburg:
I am certain that the club is really well set up right the way through. I may have been a part of that, but the club will also succeed without me. There will be great football played here in the future and plenty of titles won, you certainly don't have to worry about that.
As part of the press conference today, Red Bull Football Academy head Bernhard Seonbuchner was also named as the successor of Christoph Freund at the start of September. Everything about that can be read here: