Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explained his reasons for not guaranteeing Niko Kovac of his Bayern Munich job earlier in the season.
Following a rocky start in charge of Bayern, Kovac’s future was allegedly on the line as the club lost precious ground to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title battle.
The Bavarians found themselves trailing leaders Dortmund by nine points in the Bundesliga standings in December. Therefore, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was being touted as a potential replacement for Kovac.
Despite the growing doubt over his own future, the Croatian stayed put and led Bayern to a domestic double in the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal Cup.
And now CEO Rummenigge has explained why he didn’t squash rumours over Kovac’s job earlier in the season.
“I didn’t want to harm him [Kovac]. I only wanted everyone to focus on our common goals,” he told Der Spiegel.
“I know of no club that would dismiss its coach after winning the double. Success is part of our club DNA. We put this pressure to succeed on ourselves, and everyone at Bayern has to bear it.
“Niko knows that, too. He was already here as a player.”
On why he didn’t back Kovac after Bayern thrashed title rivals Dortmund 5-0 in April, Rummenigge said: “I have no interest in populism.
“It would have been easy after the 5-0 against Dortmund, but I know how footballers tick.
“After the 5-0 we had an incredible feeling of euphoria and satisfaction in the dressing room. Rafinha turned up the music; everyone danced around.
“I know we cannot be satisfied; we have to go all out to become German champions or else all Germany will laugh at us.”