WERDER.DE: Hertha now have plenty of funds thanks to their powerful investor, and Frankfurt have made a lot of profit through transfers so they can reinvest in their squad. What is Werder’s strategy?
Marco Bode: “Werder is a club that wants to train its players, wants to do better. We can rarely buy completely finished players. Training and developing players from within is one of our key tasks. Nevertheless, we are of the opinion that we can find potential players on the transfer market and occasionally sign experienced players like Davy Klaassen, a former captain of Ajax Amsterdam. Creative transfers are very important to us."
WERDER.DE: That means the Hertha way is not a way for Werder Bremen?
Marco Bode: “In the short and medium term, we have decided that we don't want to go the way Hertha does with large investors, we want to be successful on our own. I personally believe that we need to continually review this stance, but at the moment, I think it's the right way to go, even though you always have to keep an eye on developments in the Bundesliga and your own options. But it is not only up to us to make a change in our philosophy, it also has to be possible to implement sensible strategic partnerships and investor models.”
WERDER.DE: Is a strategic partner currently a topic being discussed at the club?
Marco Bode: “Not at the moment, no. We have dealt with such models over and over again in recent years, but when reviewing them we always came to the conclusion that our current model can be successful. Good decisions and good staff who act as a team are more important, I am absolutely convinced of that. With our philosophy we can survive in this league. The painful realisation, however, is that you never know what can happen in football."
WERDER.DE: How do you respond to the fans who think that, due to developments at Leipzig, Hoffenheim or Berlin, Werder will be pushed out of Europe in the long term, perhaps even out of the first division?
Marco Bode: “I would say that of course a certain group of clubs are far better equipped than us financially. At the same time, there is a group of clubs that are no different from us or that are even more difficult to compete with financially. Let's take a look at Paderborn, Union Berlin or Düsseldorf. The management options are certainly even more limited there. It is still possible to be successful in this league."
WERDER.DE: If everything goes well, as the past season has shown, you can continue to compete for a spot in Europe...
Marco Bode: “I have to emphasise that the risk of slipping backwards is always there for more than half of the clubs. In the circle of clubs like us, we have to try to be the best of the lot through hiring good personalities, through producing good ideas and having a good philosophy, through making good decisions. In the end, there are a lot of little things that have to work on together. We didn’t play well in the first half of the season but I'm not ready to fundamentally question everything about the club’s philosophy."