After relegation and a turbulent second division year, managing director Frank Baumann (46) has led Werder back into the Bundesliga. The interview.
BILD: What does this turbulent year mean to you? the climb?
Baumann: “It’s not about me. A club like Werder belongs in the premier league, but it’s simply no longer a matter of course. It is also not a sure thing to come back up straight after a descent – especially in times of a pandemic. The fact that we did it makes me proud of the team, the coaching staff, the Werder employees, my colleagues in the management and of Clemens Fritz.”
BILD: How important is this day for you personally?
Baumann: “With all the joy, it was a very important day for Werder. But he certainly wasn’t one of the greatest in Werder history. We should not belittle the old successes.”
BILD: What was the key to success for you?
Baumann: “We had a clear plan for the second division and stayed calm. We knew we needed patience. It was crazy how many transfers there were and which players we lost. We needed time, we couldn’t lose our nerve. We succeeded.”
BILD: You were heavily criticized after relegation. Are you satisfied with promotion?
Bauman: “No. No player, no manager is bigger than the club. I’m just happy for the club and for the fans. In the last few weeks, everyone has become aware of what we had lost to Corona in two years. The fans make us a special club. I am firmly convinced that we would not have been relegated with this fan support.”
BILD: When did you start believing in promotion?
Baumann: “Always, even in November. It was clear to us that we shouldn’t be too many points behind at the winter break. We were sure that we would get going in the second half of the season. So the conviction was always there.”
BILD: How big is Ole Werner’s share in the rise?
Baumann: “Ole is a technically very good coach with a good manner and great leadership. He just fits in very well with Werder. But Markus Beginning also played a part in the ascent. His starting position after the descent was extremely difficult. Ole was able to build on his foundation, plays similar football. That was helpful.”
BILD: Would Werder have been promoted without the change of coach?
Baumann: “Quite possible. In any case, we would have played for promotion until the very end.”
BILD: Will there be big changes in the team?
Baumann: “Not as many as last summer. But they are necessary. We’ll look specifically at what we need. The planning has been going on for months. It’s about young potential players and there will be professionals who will help us right away. But our basic structure remains the same.”
BILD: Can you report an agreement with the players whose contract is about to expire?
Bauman: “No. We will use the next few weeks to hold further talks. It is not yet certain whether we will be able to announce something in the coming week.”