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CEO Oliver Kahn and Bayern President Herbert Hainer. Photo: AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE

FC Bayern will experience an unusual annual general meeting in the next high phase of the Corona. Qatar is a hot topic. The pandemic affects the Bundesliga croesus athletically and economically.

Munich – The memory of the late goalscorer legend Gerd Müller was at the very beginning of the annual general meeting of FC Bayern Munich, at which the bosses around Oliver Kahn and Herbert Hainer also addressed and had to endure the controversial issue of Qatar. There were isolated whistles in the Audi Dome when club president Hainer complained about the sometimes “vile” tone in the public discourse about business relations with the desert state. The subject should be discussed in more detail over the course of Thursday evening.

“Stand for social values”

In the presence of the honorary president Uli Hoeneß and the warmly applauded coach Julian Nagelsmann, Hainer first sang a hymn to his club. “FC Bayern will never be a kicking company,” he said. FC Bayern set “standards” in the world of football. Special thanks also went to Hansi Flick, the seven-title coach and predecessor of the 34-year-old Nagelsmann.

At the first members’ convention in the corona pandemic, the numerous title trophies were not only carried on stage by the soccer players individually, such as the championship trophy by national player Leroy Sané. “We stand for social values,” assured Hainer. Presidium elections were not on the agenda this year.

Hainer promotes vaccination

Corona also influenced the course of the first membership convention since the outbreak of the pandemic at the beginning of 2020. 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. Hainer therefore 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, Hainer defended himself in front of unvaccinated players like Joshua Kimmich, who has just tested positive for the virus: “It’s not okay to pillory our players and especially our Joshua Kimmich!”

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. In view of the extraordinary circumstances, Kahn rated the financial result as “good”. CFO Jan-Christian Dreesen sees Germany’s top club “on solid foundations” even in times of pandemics.

Fans criticize partnership with Qatar Airways

The largest expenditure item was again 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. The attempt by member Michael Ott to get the meeting to vote on the Qatar sponsorship was rejected by the Munich District Court I a few hours before the meeting.

Together with like-minded people, Ott wants to get 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, is ended and not extended. The 2022 World Cup host country has come under heavy criticism on human rights issues and employment relationships, for example on the World Cup construction sites.

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