Bayern Munich win the Bundesliga: Why have they sacked Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic?
The perennial champions maintained their grip on the German league title but change is afoot in Bavaria.
Despite clinching the Bundesliga title on a thrilling final day, Bayern Munich have already started planning for next season and have sacked two key executives.
Within minutes of the Bundesliga title being secured it emerged that sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and CEO Oliver Kahn had been sacked. Both were central figures at the club after successful stints as players.
A report from German football journalist Maximilian Koch reads: “[Oliver] Kahn AND Brazzo [Salihamidzic] out! Complete new beginning at FC Bayern. [Jan-Christian] Dreesen takes over as CEO, Salihamidzic’s successor is still being sought.”
Bayern Munich clinched their 11th consecutive Bundesliga title with a 2-1 victory over Koln on a stunning final day of action in Germany. Rivals Borussia Dortmund squandered a two-point lead by drawing at home to mid-table Mainz and a late winner from Jamal Musiala secured the title for Bayern.
Musiala’s 89th-minute strike means that Bayern are once again German champions but it will not obscure that fact that this season has been a disaster for the Bavarian club. Julian Nagelsmann was surprisingly sacked in March and new coach Thomas Tuchel has struggled for consistency at a club that demands it.
Salihamidzic enjoyed a nine-year spell as a player at Bayern from 1998-2007, returning a decade later to take over as sporting director. Oliver Kahn joined the club in 1994 and built a reputation as one of the finest goalkeepers of his generation during a 14 years as a player at the club. He was appointed CEO in 2021 but his tenure in the role has last just two years.
Why have Bayern Munich sacked Kahn and Salihamidzic?
The duo has an extensive history with the Bavarian club but they have underperformed the board’s lofty expectations this season. In recent years Bayern have often had the title wrapped up with games to spare but they were reliant on a late Dortmund collapse to clinch the Bundesliga this time out.
The club has been destabilised by a number of off-field issues this season. The club spent big last summer to bring in Sadio Mane from Liverpool, spending a considerable amount to secure the services of a player in his 30s. Not only has he failed to show his best stuff on the pitch, he was recently suspended by the club after hitting out at teammate Leroy Sane.
Most crucially, perhaps, was the sacking of Julian Nagelsmann in March. Kahn is thought to have led the move to remove Nagelsmann, who had won the double in his first season at the club and had steered the team to a flawless Champions League campaign in 2022/23.
After Nagelsmann’s exit, Bayern were dumped out of the Champions League by Manchester City and have looked worryingly vulnerable in the Bundesliga. The timing of the managerial switch caused many raised eyebrows and it might be that decision that did for Kahn in the end.
At Bayern, anything less than domestic domination is unacceptable and this season’s performance has fallen far short of that level. In recent years the club has relied on the guidance of former players in key executive positions but there has been some suggestion that the club is lagging behind the best practices of other elite teams.
This summer the German giants will want to ensure that they can tighten their grip on the Bundesliga and return to compete with the very best that European football has to offer.