Thursday, November 25, 2021
Anger at “vile” tone
FC Bayern continues to have problems with Qatar
At FC Bayern, the annual general meeting celebrates a tremendously successful time in sporting terms. In his lecture, President Herbert Hainer touches on the topics of Qatar and Kimmich. There had been a lot of trouble beforehand because of both.
After two hours as a silent listener on the podium, Oliver Kahn took off the red corona protective mask and stepped to the lectern. In his opening speech as CEO, the former goalkeeper titan praised his club as a role model at the annual general meeting of FC Bayern Munich and warned vigorously against the investor-controlled clubs in Europe. “We are currently experiencing the most fundamental change that football has ever experienced. That is why we are fighting on the front lines that it cannot be that investors can pump unlimited money into clubs,” said the 52-year-old Kahn, who works for the German record champions im took over from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the top of the board last summer.
“With us there is definitely no investor group or a multimillionaire,” said Kahn, who promised the members in the Audi Dome on Thursday evening: “We will continue to go our own way in Bavaria.” The memory of the late goalscorer legend Gerd Müller had stood at the beginning of the first membership convention in the Corona crisis, at which the bosses around Kahn and club president Herbert Hainer also wanted to endure the controversial issue of Qatar. There were the first whistles in the Audi Dome when President Hainer initially complained about the sometimes “vile” tone in the discourse about the sponsorship partnership with Qatar Airways. In the course of the evening, the topic should be discussed in more detail, as Hainer announced. But it took a while.
“Never a kicking corporation”
In the presence of the honorary president Uli Hoeneß and the friendly applauded coach Julian Nagelsmann, Hainer sang a hymn to his club. “FC Bayern will never be a kicking company,” said Hainer. Special thanks went to Hansi Flick, the seven-title coach and predecessor of Nagelsmann. The numerous title trophies not only for footballers were initially carried on stage, such as the championship trophy from national player Leroy Sané. Presidium elections were not on the agenda this year. Corona influenced the course of the meeting. A maximum of 1700 members were admitted under the 2G plus rule.
In the fourth wave, the serial champion is not only hit hard by infected professionals who have been forced into quarantine. Kahn and Hainer again promoted vaccination as the “best way” out of the pandemic. You also talk to your own professionals all the time. At the same time, the bosses protected themselves in front of unvaccinated players like Joshua Kimmich, who has just tested positive. “It’s not okay to pillory our players and especially our Joshua Kimmich!” Said Hainer energetically.
District court saves FC Bayern Qatar application
The Bundesliga Croesus also has to cope with major financial losses due to Corona. The total group turnover shrank in the 2020/21 season to 643.9 million euros. That is over 100 million euros less than in the record year 2018/19. After all, there was still a minimal profit of 1.9 million euros after taxes. However, CFO Jan-Christian Dreesen sees the club as “on a solid foundation”. The largest expenditure item is the personnel costs including the top salaries for stars like Robert Lewandowski of almost 350 million euros. The most important income items are sponsoring and marketing (206.7 million euros) as well as gaming operations (147.9 million).
The lucrative partnership with Qatar Airways, which some of the members and fans dislike massively, also contributes to the sponsorship result. When the subject of controversy became loud and emotional. With like-minded people, member Michael Ott wanted the club to put pressure on FC Bayern AG so that the multi-million dollar contract with Qatar’s state airline, which runs until 2023, will be terminated and not extended. The presidium of the German record champions did not allow that to happen. Vice-President Dieter Mayer referred to a decision of the Regional Court of Munich I on the same day. The 13th Civil Chamber had rejected “an addition to the agenda regarding sponsorship by Qatar Airlines”. FC Bayern is not obliged to discuss “further sponsorship” by the airline at the general meeting.
“I will not allow us to vote on illegal motions here,” said Mayer and received boos. The regional court argued that within the structure of the association, the management and thus also the issue of sponsoring in the field of football, due to the association’s statutes, was exclusively the responsibility of the executive committee and was thus removed from the competence of the general assembly. The business relationship with Qatar is a hot topic in the FC Bayern fan scene because of the human rights situation in the host country of the 2022 World Cup or the working conditions on the World Cup construction sites, for example.