VfL Wolfsburg have confirmed that Head of Sport Olaf Rebbe has been promoted to the role of Sporting Director, replacing Klaus Aloffs who was sacked last month.
Allofs paid the price for the club’s poor first half of the season. They have won just four times in 16 games, with Allofs decision to replace Dieter Hecking with Valérien Ismaël failing to make big dividends.
He is replaced by Rebbe, who Allofs brought from Werder Bremen in 2014, and his involvement in the club’s business already this year appears to have impressed the club’s board enough to give him the job.
Who is Olaf Rebbe?
Unlike his predecessor, who had been a European champion with West Germany and Bundesliga winner with Werder Bremen, Rebbe did not have a distinguished playing career as he was forced to retire at just 20 due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
He immediately became the team manager as TSV Auetal, where he would hold a role for 13 years. In addition to that, he became marketing manager at Bremen in 2004.
Having worked with Allofs at the Weserstadion, he then followed him to Wolfsburg in early 2014, becoming his executive assistant, before taking the role of Head of Sport in the summer of 2015.
He had effectively been caretaker to Allofs following his departure in December, overseeing the club’s transfer activity so far this month, including the sale of Julian Draxler and the purchases of Riechedly Bazoer and Yunus Malli.
With more high-profile rumoured candidates for the role, like Horst Heldt, not coming to fruition, the club’s hierarchy has clearly been impressed enough to give the 38-year-old the role on a permanent basis.
A brave move?
In the club’s statement, they said that all responsibilities in the area of sport would be handed to Rebbe, who will continue to be guided by executive director Wolfgang Hotze. He has also been asked to restructure and optimise the sporting department of the club as soon as possible.
Hotze admitted that appointing Rebbe “may be seen as a brave move by many” to appoint the second-youngest sporting director in the Bundesliga, but he felt he was the best man for the job. He added that Rebbe “works meticulously and we are well aware of his strengths and abilities.”
Rebbe himself believes it will be “a huge challenge” for him, but he was “very happy” to be given the responsibility. “The club and the city has a special place in my heart and together we indent to get a lot going here,” he added.
Quotes via VfL Wolfsburg.