Managing director Alexander Wehrle will leave 1. FC Köln next year to take up a new post within the Bundesliga, it became official on Wednesday morning.
The 46-year-old is exercising his special termination right in his contract, which runs until 2023, and will move to VfB Stuttgart in the course of April 2022, where he will take up the post of chairman of the board. He thus succeeds Thomas Hitzlsperger, who will not extend his contract at VfB at his own request.
“Alexander Wehrle informed us at an early stage and included us in his thoughts that there was a call from his home country and that he would like to follow it despite his close ties to FC, because the task as CEO appeals to him very much,” FC President Werner Wolf is quoted as saying: “We are very grateful for this openness and transparency. Quite openly, we as the board can also say that you are reluctant to let your captain – and that is Alexander Wehrle for the Geißbockheim – go. “
Wolf holds Wehrle in high regard, under whose direction “the club has grown in many dimensions”. “He was one of the architects of the new set-up after 2012 and played a major role in saving the club,” Wolf continued: “He was an absolute constant and the face of the club in both good and hard times.” With Wehrle’s move to Stuttgart, “an era is coming to an end. “
Alexander Wehrle is one of the most distinguished managing directors in German professional football.
In Swabia, a new one begins for this. “Thomas Hitzlsperger has changed and shaped VfB as chairman of the board. Finding a suitable successor who can not only continue his work but also develop VfB further was a top priority for the supervisory board,” Claus Vogt, chairman of the supervisory board at VfB, is quoted as saying. “We are glad that with Alexander Wehrle we have gained exactly the right man for this task. Alexander Wehrle has an outstanding record at 1. FC Köln in recent years and is also one of the most high-profile managing directors in German professional football. “
Leading FC “with a great deal of heart and soul “
Wehrle says goodbye with one eye laughing and one eye crying: “In the nine and a half years, Cologne and FC have become my home. Europa League, relegation, direct re-promotion, the challenging management during the Corona crisis – I am incredibly grateful for every single day at the Geißbockheim.” Even though it’s now back home, “this decision really wasn’t easy for me. I have always led 1. FC Köln with the utmost passion and a lot of heart and soul.”
In his last month, it is now a matter of “handing over a club that is in the best possible position”. Under Steffen Baumgart, Cologne played a remarkable first half of the season, finishing in eighth place.