|Wolfgang Holzhäuser - Managing Director, Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
|Profile of the week|
Saturday, 26 January 2013 23:37
Wolfgang Holzhäuser is the Managing Director of Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
He was born in 1950 in Crumstadt near Riedstadt. He is married and has a son.
Having qualified as a certified business administrator, he trained as a wholesale sales representative.
He is currently managing director of Bayer 04 Leverkusen and is considered one of the leading experts on professional football in Germany.
Holzhäuser has worked for the DFB (German F.A.) for over 23 years and is one of the “founding fathers” of the DFL (German Football League) where he is a permanent member of the league board and the supervisory board.
In 2004 he was appointed vice-president of the League Association and the DFB.
In 2007 he became president of the League Association and has made important contributions to projects such as the introduction and implementation of the licensing procedure that have benefited the professional clubs in Bundesliga 1 and 2.
His work with the League Association and the DFL covered the control of the economic viability of the professional clubs and membership of a range of national committees including the finance committee, Germany national team working party, betting working party, the constitution and structure commission.
He joined 04 Leverkusen in1998 and was instrumental in transforming parts of the football section at TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen into Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH.
Holzhäuser has been the sole managing director since July 2004. As managing director he is responsible for the Bayer 04 subsidiary companies Bayer 04 Immobilien GmbH, Bayer 04 Mobilien GmbH, Bayer 04 Marketing GmbH, BaySecur, BaySports Travel and Bayer 04 Sportförderung GmbH
To read the interview in German, click here >>
How does working for Bayer Leverkusen compare to working for the German Football Federation?
At first glance, it is of course very similar, since they are the same product: football.
As soon as one looks closer, the difference is huge. The association’s purpose is for the common good of German football, which includes not only the three professional leagues and the national team, but also countless amateur clubs, women's soccer and especially youth football. The challenge for the association is to manage all of this under one roof.
For Bayer 04, the situation is different, of course. Although we also promote women's and youth football, the professional team at Bayer 04 is in the foreground. Here you focus on the short-term performance of the professionals, who should enter each new season with the aim of achieving maximum sporting success. First and foremost, we follow the interests of our own club, whether this is the redesign of the youth service centre, the optimal design of the corporate structure, or the purchase of a player from a competitor.
In 2007, you became president of the League Association and contributed to the introduction and implementation of the licensing procedure-- why was this necessary?
It was important to us at that time to create for the first division, second division and regional leagues, a unified system in which one can visibly measure requirements for professional football. This includes not only the financial requirements, but also the playing side of sports, legal, infrastructure, personnel, administration, media, technical and safety criteria. Such a decision could not be suddenly presented to the potential professional clubs, so we chose a progressive licensing. For example, today a soil heating is required, whilst at that time it was not. For this reaction, the clubs have to leave a little time. Even today there are some screws that are changed in the licensing system.
In comparison to other leagues, the Bundesliga has been credited with being very well-run financially. Why was this made a priority?
There are some clubs that can spend more money than others, but it's no surprise that the 15th team in the premier league is only 7 points behind fifth-placed. The sporting balance, to me, makes the Bundesliga the most exciting league in Europe. Here, any club can beat any other.