A Day In The Life With Bayer 04 Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro
FERNANDO CARRO has been the CEO of Bundesliga side Bayer 04 Leverkusen since July '18. One of the biggest days for Bayer 04 since his hire was last month's Champions League draw in Nice on Aug. 29. The club finished in fourth place in Germany's top flight last year to earn a spot in the '19-20 UCL. Carro traveled to Monaco for the live draw at Grimaldi Forum, where he learned his team would be in a four-team group with Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Russian Super League club Lokomotiv Moscow. Carro's team will begin group play on Sept. 18 against Lokomotiv. He recently spoke with THE DAILY about his activity on the day of the draw.
9:00am-12:00pm: I took a flight from Dusseldorf to Nice airport in the morning, accompanied by our operations director, who is our main UEFA contact. We shared a shuttle from the airport with other front office staff from Borussia Mönchengladbach. We have a good and professional relationship, even though we are competitors and regional rivals at the same time. So, on the 45-minute trip to Monte Carlo, we leveraged the time to discuss some general Bundesliga-related topics.
12:30-2:00pm: After arriving at the hotel, we had a more or less spontaneous get together with Monaco player BENJAMIN HENRICHS, who is a former Bayer 04 Leverkusen player who went through our entire youth system. It was good to see and talk to him, and I think he also enjoyed meeting up with some familiar faces. We like to think of Bayer 04 as a kind of family, so even if a player leaves, we try to stay connected.
2:00-4:30pm: A rather late lunch at the hotel included a meeting with German Football Federation VP RAINER KOCH and some executives from RB Leipzig. Afterwards, I caught up with some executives from Ligue 1 side Lille, Bayern Munich and ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC's agent, MINO RAIOLA, before getting ready at my hotel room for the more formal attire of the draw ceremony. I then checked in with my communications director at Bayer 04 about my media obligations that night.
4:30-7:00pm: We walked over to the Grimaldi Forum from our hotel. Always great when you can walk to your destination on a business trip like that. And Monte Carlo surely is a place where it's worthwhile to get to see some parts of the town. It was an incredibly hot day. In general, I don't like air conditioning too much, but due to those mean temperatures outside, I was happy for the fairly fresh air in the convention center. During the draw we had to stay rather quiet, which is always tough for me when there's a lot of people you want to see, greet and connect with. I still managed to briefly talk to the agent of our head coach, PETER BOSZ, before the ceremony started.
7:00-8:00pm: Right after the end of the draw I had an interview with our German broadcaster Sky and a short phone call with Bayer 04 Sporting Head RUDI VÖLLER. I then met Barcelona President JOSEP BARTOMEU for a discussion. He is an old friend of mine from Spain.
8:00-11:00pm: Then we headed right to the "UEFA Season Kickoff Party," mostly waiting for the schedule of the matches to be released. We are used to the procedure, due to our various appearances in the Champions League in recent years, and travels to Moscow, Torino and Madrid are highly attractive for us and our sponsors. But at the same time, the preparation of those trips always is an organizational challenge to our respective staff members. During the party I shook lots of hands and had an interesting conversation with a German journalist on some crucial UEFA and Bundesliga topics.
11:00pm-12:00am: When I returned back to the hotel, I did one more loop of talks with various executives from other clubs, including a brief chat with officials from Madrid and Moscow. With that attractive and challenging outcome of the draw and all those interesting discussions, I don't think I had much trouble going to sleep that night.
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