“There can be no normal working relationship between me and the club.”


By Peter Vice

An article appearing in the Thursday print edition of Kicker reported that administrator Christian Heidel and FSV Mainz 05 were working on a contract extension. 

The news was confirmed later in the morning. The 58-year-old footballing exec will not remain with the Rheinhessen beyond this summer, but also stay as long as he’s needed under a unique arrangement. 

Christian Heidel.
Christian Heidel. Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

When Christian Heidel returned to Mainz last winter, bringing former coach Martin Schmidt in tow as his sporting director, two administrators familiar with the club they now worked at immediately proceeded to engineer perhaps the greatest escape in Bundesliga history. Under the stewardship of new trainer Bo Svensson, the Pfälzer managed to avoid relegation despite earning just seven points through the season’s halfway mark.

“Myself, Schmidt, and Svensson together freed ourselves from an almost hopeless sporting situation,” Heidel noted in an interview appearing in Thursday’s print edition of Kicker Magazine, “We thus fulfilled the first part of our Mission. I wish to c continue along this path in order to further stabilize and develop the club.”

“We’re not quite finished with this project,” the club boss continued, “For me, it’s about not letting up and continuing to drive this positive development.”

Both Heidel and Schmidt received short-term contracts. The duo were scheduled to depart at the end of the current season if all parties involved thought a new direction necessary. According to the Kicker article, both executives wished to wait and see if they could get everyone in the front office pulling in the same direction.

It would seem Heidel’s criteria have been met. Kicker also reports that Heidel’s new deal is somewhat unique in that it doesn’t have an expiration date. Journalist Benni Hofmann notes that there is no defined term for Heidel’s tenure. Instead, there are simple procedures built-in for the time when both club and administrator wish to terminate the contract by mutual consent.

“Mainz 05 shall always remain a matter of the heart for me,” Heidel said in the article, “There can be no normal working relationship between myself and the club after all these years. The foundation of my work shall be an agreement on the common direction of our work and the future of FSV Mainz 05 in all the committees. A common understanding [of the path ahead] I feel is the basis for trustworthy collaboration.”

Heidel worked in the Main front office for 24 years (1992-2016) before moving to Schalke for a three-year-stint as one of Schalke’s bosses. He was released from his duties in Gelsenkirchen in 2019.

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