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Jochen Schneider on the touchlines during a Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Freiburg — August 27, 2018.
Image: imago

Schalke appoint Jochen Schneider as head of sports

Mark Hallam
February 26, 2019

Schalke have taken a first step reorganizing their back room, securing the services of Jochen Schneider from RB Leipzig. Schneider spent many years with Stuttgart before joining the Red Bull empire.


Schalke will appoint 48-year-old Jochen Schneider on a contract running until June 2022. 

The current head of sport and internationalization at RB Leipzig was suggested to Schalke's board by chairman Clemens Tönnies and unanimously approved. His first task will be to appoint a sporting director, according to the club. 

"For me it's a great honor on the one hand and a huge challenge on the other, to take over this post at FC Schalke 04," Schneider said. "Schalke exudes a particular charisma that reaches far beyond the Ruhr Valley and beyond Germany. The current situation shows that we have a lot of work ahead of us. But I am looking forward to tackling this collectively at Schalke." 

Schalke, traditionally among the competitors for Champions League football, are languishing in 14th in the Bundesliga. The Royal Blues were dismantled 3-0 in Mainz on the weekend, after falling just short in a tough midweek Champions League encounter with Manchester City

Read more:  Opinion: Sporting directors losing their jobs is a worrying Bundesliga trend

Different traditions, but similar sides? 

Many of the instant reactions to the move focused on the contrast between historic working class club Schalke and the corporate upstarts in Leipzig, Salzburg and beyond. 

But despite the differences in the two clubs' images, their heavy focus and reliance on developing young talents bears some comparison. Tönnies alluded to this in Schalke's announcement. 

"We formulated a clear profile for the role of head of sports: an experienced football expert with a first-class national and international network in the professional game, and who has pursued modern concepts with success in recent years," Tönnies said. "Jochen Schneider fits this bill."

Prior to his years with the Red Bull football franchise, Schneider spent more than a decade with VfB Stuttgart as sporting director, a tenure that included their Bundesliga title season of 2007. 

Schalke said Schneider's first public appointment in royal blue would be next Tuesday, March 6.