“Eager to continue down this path”

Clemens Fritz on his role as Werder’s future managing director for sport

Clemens Fritz during the press conference.
Clemens Fritz has a few goals in mind ahead of assuming his new role (Photo: W.DE).
First Team
Thursday, 22.02.2024 / 16:00

In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, SV Werder Bremen announced that Clemens Fritz would assume the role of managing director for sport when Frank Baumann steps down in summer. “We’re really happy about it because we’ve got a lot of faith in Clemens as a person, in his ability and in his strategy. We think that our sporting future is in good hands with Clemens,” stated Dr. Hubertus Hess-Grunewald, the chairman of SVW’s supervisory board.

Fritz, who is currently head of professional football at Werder, was viewed as a suitable candidate to succeed Baumann from the outset. Dr. Hess Grunewald noted that the supervisory board fulfilled their responsibility of looking for candidates outside of the club, too, and hired an external consulting agency to assist with the recruitment process. “We asked ourselves whether there would be anyone outside the club who would fit the profile more than Fritz does,” elaborated Dr. Hess-Grunewald. “We took all the time we needed to sit down with strong candidates and discuss their ideas and thoughts. That being said, none of them gave the board the impression that they would be a better fit for Werder or align more with the club’s values than Clemens.” The board were particularly convinced that the strategies and projects that Fritz had taken responsibility for and developed in recent years at SVW made him the right man for the job.

“Werder are a club that have grown very dear to my heart. I’m incredibly eager to continue down the path we’ve been on over the past few years,” said Fritz in Thursday’s press conference. The 43-year-old thanked Frank Baumann for having faith in him and for giving him the opportunity to further his own personal development at SVW. “We’ve worked very closely with one another in years gone by. Our relationship was always shaped by a lot of mutual appreciation.” Werder’s next managing director for sport stressed that he would not be making any drastic changes, as that would mean “that I had been doing things wrong over the past few years of working together with Frank. Nevertheless, I have my own ideas and want to be perceived as an individual,” noted Fritz. He also laid out his intention to continue pushing key ideas that are already starting to take shape, such as the cultivation of a team with a lot of potential and the establishment of a fearless, attacking brand of football, as well as developing the women’s football team and the performance centre.

If you had asked him a few years back, Fritz would certainly not have been able to imagine himself in this role. “Over the past couple of years, I’ve realised that this is a process of continuous development, and one which I was ready for, open to, and motivated to pursue,” shared Werder’s former captain, who completed a trainee program with the Green-Whites after his professional career, where he got to know SVW "inside out". Fritz noted that, “Those are fundamentals that are important in order to get to know a business and understand it better.”

The fact that he’s now taking on this challenge shortly after the arrival of a strategic partner gives him room to work with that the club have not had for a good few years. At the same time though, Fritz also emphasised that SV Werder worked on their strategy for the previous transfer window in January internally and independently of the investor. “That is a path that we want to stay on as a company, and it’s something that is incredibly important to me. The most important thing is that you have sporting success, but also that you move within a realistic financial structure,” explained Fritz, looking to the future. Financial continuity is one of the aims that the future managing director for sport has set. Top-tier football also comes with a chance of European qualification. “Taking part in European competition should be an aim for everyone at Werder Bremen. I will let myself be judged by that, too.”


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