For almost 24 years, Christiane Rienesl pulled all the strings. When she started out as an administrative assistant at TSG Hoffenheim headquarters on 1 October 1999, the club was still playing in the Verbandsliga Nordbaden and competing against the likes of SG Dielheim, SV Sinsheim and FC Bammental. Hardly anyone at the club has accompanied TSG Hoffenheim’s rise as closely and in as senior a role as Christiane Rienesl, who has been the club’s security representative since 2005 and also managed the office of managing director Frank Briel for over a decade. But official titles and positions do not sufficiently describe her impact.
Christiane Rienesl did not ask for status, position or acclaim; she simply went about her business. She was a leader in the best sense of the word, an institution at the club, with a clear stance and strong opinions, who helped write a significant chapter of TSG’s recent history at an administrative and organisational level. Whether it was youth, women, U23s or the senior men’s team, whether it was the Dietmar-Hopp-Stadion, the PreZero Arena or the headquarters – it all went through her office. From the vehicle fleet and office management to the club’s security architecture, Christiane Rienesl was the expert for all occasions, an absolute all-rounder who directed thoughtfully on the big stage that is TSG Hoffenheim football club.
She was the first woman to serve as a security officer for a Bundesliga club, long before the debate about women in leadership positions in football came to the fore. Christiane Rienesl was a highly respected person, both internally and externally, who not only played a leading role in numerous national and international matches, but was also available around the clock as a competent point of contact for associations, organisations and service providers. The big and exciting world of professional football never changed her. A down-to-earth character, she remained very closely attached to the region and her family, which in a figurative sense included TSG Hoffenheim.
On 4 April, Christiane Rienesl passed away at the age of only 62 following a serious illness. We mourn the loss of a person who made an indelible impression on us and whose death leaves a huge void. Our sympathies go out to her loved ones. TSG Hoffenheim are heavily indebted to Christiane Rienesl. We will honour her memory.