Ein contract for life? Christian Heidel does not want to talk about this, even if the contract originally running until summer 2022, which the sports board of FSV Mainz 05 has extended with the supervisory board, does not provide for a specific term. “It is a contract that is based on great mutual trust,” he said on Thursday afternoon, a few hours after the club announced the new agreement.
Mainz 05 always remains an affair of the heart for him, says the native of Mainz, who took over the position of manager at the then second division club in 1992 and without whom the development of the club into an established first division club would have been unthinkable. In the spring of 2016, he said goodbye to FC Schalke 04, and at the end of December last year he returned to his old place of work, now as Director of Strategy, Sport and Communication. In tow, Heidel had the former coach Martin Schmidt, who has since acted as sports director.
“Not a normal employment relationship”
After a total of around 26 years, there is “no normal employment relationship” between the association and him. Should one side at some point deem it appropriate to terminate the cooperation, there is no need to talk about a remaining term. “We don’t need that here,” emphasizes Heidel, and: “For me it will never be about money.” Heidel embodies “something like the original gene of Mainz 05,” said Chairman of the Supervisory Board Volker Baas, justifying the contract extension in a message from the club . “He has shaped the club in its entire development and has now brought it back to sporting stability. For such a personality, different rules apply than the usual rules in the industry. “
Christian Heidel announced that he would like to continue the path he took in December and further stabilize and develop the club. “We are not finished with our project yet. My concern is not to let go now, but to push the positive development further. “First and foremost, it is about the club finding something more to itself, about” that the Mainz people identify more with Mainz 05 “. This feeling of togetherness has in the past few years fallen by the wayside, initially because of poor performance and then also because of the restrictions caused by the corona. “Losing people is easier than winning them back,” says Heidel. “But we have to try that, and I think we are on the right track.”
Also Schmidt’s contract before renewal
In terms of sport, the club must come back into calmer waters. “It’s not a shame if we play against relegation. That can happen at a club of this size, ”admits the sports director. “But we will do everything we can to have as little to do with it.” This “we” implies Martin Schmidt, with whom he would like to meet soon in order to extend his contract, which runs until the summer. And it includes Bo Svensson, the coach Heidel had brought back to Bruchweg from the Austrian FC Liefering in a second step between the years.
Svensson has implemented the type of football that Mainz 05 grew up with (“conquer the ball, and then the mail goes without a lot of frills”) “outstandingly”. This way of playing simply needs to be further developed. “Before we can take a new step with 70 percent possession, a lot of time will pass.”
With the second half of last season, the team set the bar very high, says Heidel. “We will hardly achieve that again” – but if the coach and team continued the style of this half-series, they would certainly come closer to the goal of moving away from the relegation places. “We mustn’t let ourselves be impressed by the fact that the results are not right now and then. That is no reason to deviate from our path. “