SK Rapid reveal Fredy Bickel as new Sporting Director
Fredy Bickel, born on the 19th of May, 1965 in Zug, comes to Hütteldorf boasting a wealth of experience in the leading roles within club football. Bickel has signed a contract with the Austrian record champions until Summer 2019.
President Michael Krammer explained after sealing the appointment of Bickel on Saturday: "I would like to thank all of those with whom we have been in contact with over the past weeks - both here in Austria and abroad – over the enormously important Sporting Director vacancy at our club. I’m delighted that we have been able to appoint a man such as Fredy Bickel who brings with him a wealth of experience and an outstanding reputation. It wasn’t just his flawless reputation that piqued our interest, but during our conversations the manner in which he presented himself quickly established him as our number one target. During his career he has not only occupied positions of immense responsibility, but has also celebrated many successes and identifies completely with the ambitious targets we have in place here at Rapid Vienna. As Sporting Director his remit includes full responsibility for sporting matters and I'm convinced that together we are going to celebrate many Green & White successes," continued the club President. In the coming months Bickel will work together with Christoph Peschek, the CEO of Rapid Business, on the operational leadership of the SK Rapid GmbH.
Fredy Bickel: excited about the challenges ahead
The incoming Sporting Director shared with skrapid.at his first thoughts on his new role: "I'm incredibly excited about this new challenge at this genuinely big club with its ambitious targets. As both my grandmothers were born in Austria – with one actually coming from Vienna – in many ways this move represents for me the completion of a full circle. During the talks with the club leadership it quickly became apparent to me that that I really wanted the position. The incredible infrastructure at SK Rapid Vienna is not only owing to the new Allianz Stadium, as – despite the current difficulties on the field - there is also a superb trainer team in place as well as a team with good character that is prepared to put in the hard work to get back on the right track. I’m convinced that I’m the correct candidate to fill the role as the demands I place on myself are to deliver top performances, and I’ll do everything within my power to make sure we reach SK Rapid's demanding targets in the coming years," explained Bickel.
Bickel and a quarter century in leading positions
Before finding his way into the world of professional football in his native Switzerland, Fredy Bickel operated as a moderator, journalist, and manager for sportsman and artists. In 1992 he joined Grasshoppers Zürich as Technical Coordinator, taking on his first position in football. After seven years in Zürich he moved to Young Boys Bern where he remained until 2003 in his role as CEO. The next stop on his footballing journey took him back to Zürich, the time with F.C. Zürich where he spent the best part of a decade (2003 to 2012) as Manager and Member of the Board. Most recently Bickel was again in the employment of YB Bern as Sporting Director whilst again sitting on the Board. Since 1996 Bickel has also gathered experience at an international level through his involvement in various UEFA mandates, including time spent as a UEFA delegate and Media Officer at such high profile events as the UEFA Euro 2000 in Belgium/Netherlands, and has also operated as venue director for the UEFA Champions League and the U21 European Championships hosted by Germany in 2004.
During his time in Swiss football Bickel has celebrated many successes including: Swiss League Championships in 1995, 1996, 1998, 2006, 2007, and 2009; Cup victories in 1994 and 2005; as well as guiding his clubs on numerous occasions to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (1995, 2009) and the UEFA Europa League (1995, 2009 and 2008, 20011, 2014, 2016).