FC Köln end long search for MD of Sport with Keller hire
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On the Move
FC Köln end long search for MD of Sport with Keller hire
by Jonathan Rest

Christian Keller will be the next Managing Director of Sport at 1. FC Köln, effective April 1, 2022, the club has announced.

We are pleased that, in Christian Keller, we have been able to win over a highly sought-after Manager for FC. His incredible work in Regensburg is not just reflected in the sporting results they achieved, but also in the structures which he built up there. His idea of a sustainable development in the sporting sector will do FC good.
Werner Wolf
President, 1. FC Köln

Keller (pictured), who left 2. Bundesliga club SSV Jahn Regensburg at the end of October, will work closely alongside Sporting Director Thomas Kessler and Head of First Team Administration Lukas Berg in Cologne.

 

Jorg Jakobs, who has been responsible for FC Köln's sporting affairs on an interim basis, will return to his advisory role once Keller has officially joined the club.

 

FC Köln have been without a permanent MD of Sport all season, after Horst Heldt's 18 month stay ended once the club's top division status was secured at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

 

Eckhard Sauren, Vice-President of FC Köln, said: “We had time to lead good and intense discussions. Christian Keller completely convinced us during this process. We have set out a detailed path, which we now want to go on with him. After our selection process, I am certain that we have made a superb choice in Christian. His detailed analysis and his all-encompassing knowledge are really impressive.”

 

Club President Werner Wolf added: “We are pleased that, in Christian Keller, we have been able to win over a highly sought-after Manager for FC. His incredible work in Regensburg is not just reflected in the sporting results they achieved, but also in the structures which he built up there. His idea of a sustainable development in the sporting sector will do FC good.” 

 

Keller spent over eight years as MD at SSV Jahn, bringing them from the fourth division to the 2. Bundesliga and turning them into a financially stable, debt-free club.

 

On his appointment, he said: “I was particularly impressed by the seriousness, dependability, and professionalism from those responsible at FC. This basis of trust is incredibly important to me, because only then effective teamwork is possible. At the same time, the FC board have a well-thought-out strategic approach to actively shape the future of 1. FC Köln. It is also important to me, after around eight-and-a-half great and very intense years at SSV Jahn Regensburg, to approach the new role at FC with 100% identification and 100% commitment. Therefore, I need some space and a pause.”

 

Keller's MD duties have now been split at SSV Jahn, with Roger Stilz, the former Sporting Director of Waasland-Beveren, the second-tier Belgian club, taking over responsibilities for sport from December 1.

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