Fresh cell treatment
Ten new players join Bayer 04 in one go: The most prominent new signing is Heung-Min Son. The South Korea international arrived from Hamburg SV. Giulio Donati (Inter Milan), Emre Can (Bayern Munich), Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Emir Spahic, Andres Palop (both FC Sevilla), Levin Öztunali (Hamburg SV), Roberto Hilbert (Besiktas), Konstantinos Stafylidis (PAOK Saloniki) and homegrown youngster Jonas Meffert also strengthen the squad. Long-term Bayer 04 pros like Manuel Friedrich, Michal Kadlec and Daniel Schwaab leave the club as do Andre Schürrle, Daniel Carvajal, Hajime Hosogai, Michael Rensing and Junior Fernandes.
Team boss Hyypiä
After working successfully together as a duo, there is a change in the coaching line-up: Sascha Lewandowski becomes youth head coach while Sami Hyypiä, as the team boss takes over managerial responsibilities for the Werkself. He is supported by two assistant coaches Jan-Moritz Lichte and Daniel Niedzkowski, goalkeeping coach David Thiel and fitness coach Dr. Holger Broich.
North Stand celebrates a first
The standing capacity is increased during the summer break from 2,000 to 3,000 and moved to blocks C, D and E. The quickly identifiable effect: a significant improvement in the atmosphere at the BayArena!
New main sponsor
The South Korean global company LG Electronics becomes the new main and shirt sponsor for Bayer 04. That ends the first charity campaign from Bayer 04 on behalf of DKMS (German Bone Marrow Service). The Werkself wear shirts with the LG logo for the first time in the home game against Wolfsburg.
Change at the top
After 15 years as CEO of Bayer 04, Wolfgang Holzhäuser hands over to Michael Schade with effect from 1 October 2013. The previous head of group communications at Bayer AG has for many years been a member of the shareholders committee at Bayer 04 GmbH.
The Werkself are straight out of the blocks and, after nine games, they have clocked up 22 points as many as second-placed Borussia Dortmund and just one point less than league leaders Bayern Munich.
The first match in the UEFA Champions League is somewhat less than successful with a 4-2 defeat at Manchester United but victories against Real Sociedad and Shakhtar Donetsk put the Werkself back on track and ends with a second-place finish in the group and a place in the last 16.
2 October 2013: Jens Hegeler (13) scores direct from a free kick in added time in the 2-1 win against Real Sociedad.
Impressive first half of the season
Even though the last two matches against Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen ended in narrow defeat, Bayer 04 are second in the Bundesliga at the winter break following an impressive first half to the season. In the DFB Cup, the Werkself sale through the first two rounds with victories in Lippstadt and Bielefeld. A 2-1 win away to SC Freiburg qualifies the team for the quarter-finals
The other family
At the start of the second half of the season, Bayer 04 start and image campaign under the motto 'The other family'. Using large hoardings and posters in and around Leverkusen, cinema advertising, on the side of the team bus and even on a car of the Wuppertal overhead railway, Bayer 04 promotes itself and the Werkself.
Stadium of the future
At the home game against Schalke 04, Bayer 04 offers its fans a special service: The home game app for smartphones gives all spectators at the BayArena access to numerous features on the game and is a core part of Stadium Vision, a multimedia world of experience.
Drop in performance in the second half of the season
The DFB Cup exit in the quarter-finals at home to the second division side FC Kaiserslautern (0-1 a.e.t.) starts a negative run of nine competitive matches without a win. Two defeats against Paris St. Germain in the Round of 16 see Bayer 04 go out of the Champions League. After a 2-1 defeat in the Bundesliga at Hamburg SV on matchday 29 the Werkself slipped down to fifth place for the first time in the season.
Lewandowski takes over
Given the negative developments on the pitch, Bayer 04 release team boss Sami Hyypiä and assistant coach Jan-Moritz Lichte and put Sascha Lewandowski in charge of managing the Werkself for the last five games of the season.
Bayer 04 get back on track under Lewandowski and the new assistant coach Peter Hyballa, picking up 13 the possible 15 points and setting themselves up for an exciting final match on the last day of the season against Werder Bremen. A 2-1 victory takes the Werkself to fourth place and qualification for the Champions League.
10 May 2013: Heung-Min Son scores the winner in 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen.
With the last game of the season against Bremen, Jens Hegeler (Hertha Berlin), Sidney Sam (Schalke 04) and goalkeeper Andres Palop (retires) bid farewell. And Sascha Lewandowski is in charge of his last game as head coach of the Werkself before returning to his position as youth head coach. Bayer 04 have already announced that the new coach for the 2014/15 season will be Roger Schmidt from Red Bull Salzburg.
The U23s Beat Fortuna Köln 3-1 in their last home game at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium. Bayer 04 decided to disband the U23s after the end of the Regional League season. "The aim is to redesign our youth work and continue to improve," explained Bayer 04 CEO Michael Schade. The focus will now be on the U19 and U17 teams with the idea of bringing young talented players through to the Bundesliga squad more quickly.