The standards at Bayern Munich are ruthless. Less than an hour after the Bavarians unbelievably won the Bundesliga title, courtesy of a collapse from Borussia Dortmund, news came through that Bayern have sacked CEO Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic. While the latter’s replacement is yet to be sorted, Jan-Christian Dreesen has been elected to replace Oliver Kahn.
So, who is Jan-Christian Dreesen, the man tasked with restoring Bayern Munich’s unquestioned dominance after a stumbling season? Here’s a look at Bayern’s new boss-
Who is Jan-Christian Dreesen?
As a lifelong Bayern Munich fan, this is a milestone moment for Jan-Christian Dreesen in a career that didn’t always coincide with football.
Dreesen started his career working as an advisor at Bayerische Vereinsbank in 1995. He became a member of the board of directors for private banking at HypoVereinsbank in 2006.
After another two brief but successful stints at two banks- Swiss bank UBS and BayernLB, Dreesen caught the eye of FC Bayern Munich.
In 2013, Jan-Christian Dreesen was appointed the Chief Financial Officer of Bayern Munich. He succeeded the highly-regarded executive, Karl Hopfner.
Under Dreesen, Bayern Munich saw their most successful financial period in the club’s history. The Bavarians ran away with the Bundesliga title in every season since 2013. This sporting success was leveraged expertly by the finance team, led by Jan-Christian Dreesen.
Bayern stood head and shoulders above every other club in Bundesliga in terms of financial might and managed to regularly compete with state-owned clubs which faced no restrictions in terms of ownership and spending.
Dreesen’s performance was rewarded with increased responsibilities. Just a year later, in 2014, he was appointed as the deputy chairman of the club’s board.
By 2016, he had become the voice of the club, regularly representing Bayern Munich’s interest at Ligaverband, the parent company of German league football.
His ascent through the club’s ranks reached its peak with the announcement of Dreesen being made the next CEO of the club, succeeding Oliver Kahn at the end of the 2022/23 season.
Challenged facing Dreesen
Jan-Christian Dreesen knows firsthand how high the standards are at Bayern Munich. Julian Nagelsmann was sacked despite the club being in all three competitions. Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic didn’t even get the chance to celebrate the league title before being informed of their dismissal.
That is because this league title hides a lot of dysfunction behind the scenes. Under Oliver Kahn and Salihamidzic, Bayern just went through their most nervous Bundesliga campaign in years.
Furthermore, they had to suffer the ignominy of being dumped out by SC Freiburg in the quarterfinal. Manchester City eliminated them from UCL as they barely looked like equals to Pep’s team.
Dreesen now faces the challenge of refreshing a squad that has a core full of older players whose abilities no longer match the influence they have on the team. With his extensive background in finance and experience working in the football industry for almost a decade, his appointment couldn’t have come at a better time.
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The upcoming transfer window will be Bayern Munich’s most important one in a decade. Thomas Tuchel has never been a coach who wants to get too involved in transfer decisions so the onus lies on Dreesen and Co. to assemble the next batch of superstars.
From there the challenge will be to respectfully phase out the older core without causing disharmony in the squad.
Winds of change are flowing at Bayern Munich, and Jan-Christian Dreesen is as good a navigator as the Bavarian could hope to find in this upcoming era of upheaval.