We’re in the money
Published reports link auto maker Audi with a 10% purchase of FC Bayern AG. The proposed sale would net the club in the area of 100 million Euros, and is subject to league approval. Adidas made a similar purchase in 2002 for 77 mil. Euros. Although the tempting immediate reaction is to dream of how much new cash we’ll have to flash in front of Ribery, the official story is that the cash influx will go a long way towards retiring the debt incurred in building Allianz Arena. The stadium was financed over an 18 year term at an estimated cost of 340 million Euros. The Audi deal may allow the company to cut that term to 10 years. From my admittedly amateurish reading of the company balance sheet, the stadium (technically a separate company) is the main drag on profitability, posting a 7 million Euro loss in the last fiscal year. It just goes to show you that selling out a stadium every other week isn’t necessarily enough to offset skyrocketing construction costs and the scandals and defaults of your partner. Spiegel Online has the best analysis of the situation that I’ve found so far.
Bayern II humiliated in Toni return
In case you missed it, Luca Toni made his return on Friday, playing 45 minutes with Bayern II against Jahn Regensburg. As midfielder Nazif Hajdarovic wears the 9 jersey for the amateurs, Toni was forced into wearing jersey number 44. It probably won’t be a marketing opportunity, as Toni did little of note other than pick up a card and Bayern II were pummeled 5-0. With a horrific goal difference of -13 after 10 matches, the defensive stabilization has not yet been found. Perhaps some cameos from Micho and Captain Dutch together are the only thing that can bring Bayern II out of the relegation zone.
Yes, FC Bayern have become the first Bundesliga club, as far as I can tell, to release their own iPhone app. And since I’m an iPhone user, I can give you a bit of a review. First of all, the app is entirely in German, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. The display is basically divided across 5 menus at the bottom of the screen, Ticker, Tabelle, Spielplan, Kader and “Mehr”, which leads to a settings menu. Ticker provides news stories appearing on the official website, and the user can receive alerts when new stories have arrived. Tabelle is pretty straightforward, it’s the table, with Bayern’s position also listed at the very top, separate from the table proper. Spielplan is nice, displaying all past results along with the full Bayern season schedule and the next scheduled match at the top. The best part is that it displays match times in your local time. Kader provides the full bios of the team and staff that appear on the website. Under the settings, you can also set the app to give you notifications for every goal scored for and against Bayern. However, this did not function for me when DVB scored the match winner on Saturday, although I had gotten buzzed for both of the previous goals in the match. Two improvements would be to have the Ticker section actually include the Liveticker content from the website during matches, and some FCB.tv video content, perhaps in line with what gets released onto the FCB.tv YouTube channel. Overall, it’s not a must-have, although it is a free app, and certainly is helpful as compared to the club’s frustrating mobile website.