Mr. Hofmann, the season has finally come to an end. 1899 Hoffenheim managed to secure themselves a mid-table position and steered well clear of the relegation zone. What are your impressions of this season?
All in all, we can be very pleased with our performance this season. We won a point more than we did last season and taking into account the special circumstances I think we have been able to produce a decent result.
What special circumstances?
The main distraction was the upheaval during the winter break, which of course led to a big change in personnel. It would be impossible for any team to brush a situation like that off and continue playing to the best of their abilities. Nevertheless, the squad caught themselves somewhat during the second half of the season. We put in some really good performances towards the end and didn't have a thing to do with the relegation fight from Matchday 17 onwards.
The Rhein-Neckar-Arena was being sold-out on a regular basis, even during the time spent in the third division. Does it make you proud as the president to witness the unerring enthusiasm surrounding your club?
It does, because it shows that 199 Hoffenheim are supported and appreciated by everyone in the Rhein-Neckar metropolitan region. The year we won promotion we were flooded with visitors, but that could be explained by the early euphoria surrounding our achievements. However, the fans just kept on coming. The way I look at it: we've become the pride of our region.
What are your expectations for 1899 next season?
I'm trying to be as unbiased as possible, without letting myself create too many expectations. This season demonstrated to everyone that anything is possible in the Bundesliga. As long as we're playing attractive football inside the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, carrying our fans to greater heights and staying well clear of the relegation zone, I'll be a happy man.
How do you explain the "crazy" season we've had, which saw Mainz and Hannover qualify for Europe, while other more successful clubs struggled throughout?
The Bundesliga, in my opinion, is the most exciting league in Europe. In no other competition are there so many clubs that are this tightly packed together in terms of their ability. Personally I think it comes down to the fact that the DFL and the League Association make a big effort to ensure an equal opportunity for all the teams. With a functioning team, a little bit of luck and the right amount of commitment every club has the potential of pulling out something extraordinary. The nice thing is: the same goes for Hoffenheim.
This summer sees Germany host the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011. Three matches will take place in Sinsheim. Will you have the opportunity to go and see one of the games?
Without a doubt. Everyone at 1899 is proud, that our home stadium was chosen from such a wide selection of top venues. The ticket sales alone prove that all the locals from the region can't wait until the World Cup kicks-off.