"Thank you for these 22 years"

To great applause, Wolfgang Hotze bid farewell to staff and colleagues.

Hotze has spent more than two decades in senior positions at VfL Wolfsburg, the majority of that time as chief financial officer. On Sunday evening, this long and eventful journey came to a symbolic end at the 2018 VfL Christmas party. Having waved goodbye to supporters at the Volkswagen Arena the previous day, the club stalwart again came forward to bid farewell to staff. Hotze received warm words and original gifts from the supervisory board and the management board, before the VfL family sent him into his often-postponed retirement with thunderous applause.

"Unique and remarkable"

When he first attended the VfL Christmas party in an official capacity, Roy Präger, Michael Spies and Uwe Zimmermann were still wearing the Wolfsburg shirt and the Essen native reflected movingly on his time at the club in front of a record 450 guests. "I'm overwhelmed," said a visibly emotional Hotze. "The club has given me a lot. We've been promoted, won the league and cup, and won the treble and the double with the women's team. Thank you very much for these 22 years."

Chairman of the supervisory board Frank Witter, who worked with Hotze at Volkswagen before their time at VfL, thanked him formally for "maintaining his ability to act in the management team during the most difficult period," something which was "unique and remarkable". Witter then surprised his old friend with a present: the sponsorship of four vines in Mallorca.