Alexander Jobst: Increasing transparency and winning back trust
Alexander Jobst, Head of Marketing and Communication at FC Schalke 04, held a press conference on Wednesday (1.7.20), giving detailed information on various club-related topics. Below are the summarised statements of the 46-year-old.
Alexander Jobst on…
…The resignation of Clemens Tönnies
It was a development that happened over the last couple of days. The decision surprised us. Anyone who knows Clemens Tönnies knows that his mind is made up when he makes a decision. There was no intention made to persuade us. Clemens was a very important advisor to me in my role as Marketing Director. But it’s also important to emphasise how stable our sponsors are at the side of the association, regardless of the people. It is important to me personally that I’d like to express my thanks to Clemens for the past few years of trust. Judging by the telephone calls of the last few days, I’d say making this decision has not been easy for him. At the same time, I’d like to thank the Supervisory Board and the new Chairman, Dr. Jens Buchta, who as the board of directors, give us confidence to lead the club through this challenging time.
…The club’s image over the past few weeks:
“Today is a turning point for FC Schalke 04. There cannot and will not be more of the same. In the past few months, Schalke 04 have presented a miserable account of themselves to the public. We’ve made mistakes for which we want to apologise. We are responsible for making these decisions. We need to do our best to make sure mistakes like these don’t happen again. We know that we’ve lost a lot of trust and creditability over past months, and have scared members and fans. We will do anything we can to increase our credibility. Actions speak louder than words.”
We want to regain the trust of our millions of fans and members who have suffered a lot, and who couldn’t understand the many things that happened this season, through economic reasoning, a sense of proportion and complete transparency. Jochen Schneider and I will seek a dialogue with the Schalke fan groups and the members to show where we want Schalke to go. We will need to take further cuts regarding the first-team. We’re looking to the future, and it’s time to act transparently. We need to lead Schalke 04 through not only the coronavirus, but also through the medium and long term back to the successes that we and all the fans want the club to achieve again. I can see and can feel a huge responsibility to the club and look forward to the challenging tasks in the near future, which I will tackle with absolute confidence. We have a lot of big tasks ahead of us. I’m sure that we can overcome them together. If we are trusted, we will do everything we can to justify that trust.
We'll do everything in our power to win back the trust of our fans.
…The structure of S04:
I believed and I still believe that the coronavirus crisis can be a useful springboard for how to possibly change the way Schalke 04 is structured. But it’s also clear that we on the board have the mammoth task of stabilising the club, creating a powerful team for the next season and focusing on the essentials. After that, it’s our job and responsibility of course, to ensure Schalke 04 is competitive in the future. If, at a later date, we think that changing the structure of the club would be a good idea, we will present and discuss it with maximum transparency. But that’s not a topic of discussion for today, tomorrow, or even the next couple of weeks or months. We’ll approach the members if we have this view later on, and make sure we’re prepared for it in the best possible way.
Many challenges await us, but I'm confident that together we can overcome them.
…the financial situation of the club and the subsequent consequences:
We’ve got to the point now where we’re struggling to invest in our future so that we can challenge for Europe in the next few seasons. In the past few years we’ve been criticised a lot for having a spending problem, rather than an income problem. This has been made much more apparent now due to the Corona crisis and the fact that we’re having to play in empty stadiums. We’re happy that we have some stability on the sponsorship side of things and our partners are loyal to us. The club will now have to go through an economic healing process in order to ensure its future post-Corona and that could have consequences for even the next three seasons. We can’t say with any certainty, given our financial situation, that we’ll be back in Europe in the next few seasons, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be putting in quality performances week in and week out whilst trying to reduce our budgets and expenditure. If we get back on our feet on the pitch, that will really help us financially and we can recommence investment in the club so that we can fulfil the vast potential that FC Schalke 04 has to offer.