Berlin, Germany |THE INDEPENDENT| Delicate staffing decisions have triggered a storm of indignation among Bayern Munich fans.
After the departure of head coach Hansi Flick and team icons David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez, the club’s fan heroes and assistant coaches Miroslav Klose and Hermann Gerland are leaving in discontent.
The exit of the highly respected coach and rewarded players seem to be the latest developments forming the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Ahead of the 2020/2021 Bundesliga season’s last round of matches this weekend, a bitter aftertaste remains for the supporters of the world’s biggest club.
Bayern has over 358,000 enrolled members in addition to 4,500 fan clubs.
The club officials around designated chairman Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic face harsh criticism.
Both are accused of jeopardizing the club’s motto of “Mia san Mia” (We are what we are), standing for the unique self-image of a family-like run club remaining faithful to its Bavarian roots.
Salihamidzic has turned the “Mia san Mia” into “Me-myself-and I,” some fans complain.
Supporters say the club’s motto expressing its corporate identity has turned into “Mia haven been Mia.” Many said they couldn’t identify with the latest developments and overthink their desire for their club.
Next to Kahn and Salihamidzic, next season coach Julian Nagelsmann has come under fire as the 33-year-old is said to have initiated Klose’s and Gerland’s departure as he is relying on his assisting staff.
Fans claim the changes turn the club’s well-oiled patterns upside-down as Bayern for decades was known as a club dealing thoughtfully with employees and former players.
“How can it be that there is no space for the fans’ biggest hero?” a fan asked on social media.
Gerland has been serving Bayern in different positions for over 25 years and had a valid contract until 2022.
The 66-year-old is the discoverer of Bayern icons such as Alaba, Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, and Mats Hummels. The former professional earned the nickname “Tiger” due to his full dedication to football.
Gerland is one of German football’s highly respected sports-nerds, on duty 24/7.
The fans see him as Bayern’s most inspiring soul.
Gerland called himself “a street dog,” trying to explain his way up after starting to play football out on the rough streets of his childhood home of Bochum.
Former Bayern captain Lothar Matthaeus spoke of a new era emerging for Bayern. “All of Bayern’s great coaches have benefitted from Gerland’s expertise and his fine sense for the club’s structure more than many are aware of,” the German record international said.
“No matter if Van Gaal, Guardiola, or Heynckes, they all praised his values and relied on his intuition,” Matthaeus added.
Fans complain about the loss of expertise and insist Gerland can count on “five times more” experience than Nagelsmann has collected at his previous clubs in Hoffenheim and Leipzig.
Klose and Gerland spoke of unusual insensitive actions of Bayern regarding their coaching staff. While both confirmed their departure, the club remains silent.
Both announced that they planned to continue their career.