Flick sympathises with Salihamidzic following online abuse: It’s totally unacceptable

Bayern boss Hansi Flick (left) and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic

Bayern boss Hansi Flick (left) and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic

Hansi Flick has spoken out in support of Hasan Salihamidzic after the Bayern Munich sporting director’s family were targets for online abuse, with the outgoing head coach making clear the issues between the pair were never personal.

Both Salihamidzic’s wife and son, who plays for the Bundesliga club’s under-19 side, posted Instagram messages calling for the personal attacks to stop being sent to family members.

Flick made clear such actions are unacceptable during his media conference on Friday, insisting there are more important things in life than football.

The Bayern boss stated that while the pair have had differing opinions on certain topics, Salihamidzic has still played a crucial role in a hugely successful spell working together.

Victory at Mainz on Saturday would secure a ninth successive league title, making it seven major trophies since Flick’s appointment.

“What we are experiencing is a no-go situation. There are lines, borders, that are being over-stepped,” Flick said of the online comments sent to members of the Salihamidzic family.

“The history between me and Hasan was never personal. If you look at the press conferences, it was always about the path we were on together. I like working more on being successful than the success at the end.

“In two years we can now win a seventh title – I don’t think a lot of people have achieved that. He contributed to that greatly, of course. Not many people in the history of Bayern can say they have won seven titles in two years – and in future that is not going to happen every other year either.

“It’s important to focus on the path we went down together. We have a different approach, a different attitude. There are certain topics we have different opinions about, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate each other personally.

“Each one of us here would want to protect our family. It’s a no-go situation [to involve them] and I empathise with him. We have to be really, really careful these things don’t become normal.

“This is about football. Of course football is important, but it’s not the most important thing in life. Family is more important than football. Health is more important than football.

“These things should never be part of the game. With everything that has gone in with Hasan and me, this is something that I find awful. It’s totally unacceptable.”

Bayern president Herbert Hainer had condemned the attacks towards Salihamidzic and his family in a statement released by the club on Wednesday.

“FC Bayern stands united and emphatically against hostility towards Hasan Salihamidzic,” Hainer said.

“Objective criticism is, of course, always permissible. However, we condemn personal attacks and agitation in the strongest possible terms. There is no place in the slightest for that at FC Bayern.”