Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rumenigge spoke Wednesday with Sport Bild (via ESPN FC) about the overall transfer market, and his take on Neymar’s blockbuster move to Paris Saint-Germain. Regarding the Neymar transfer, Rumenigge said: “During the course of his transfer, I asked myself what would be more important: Neymar or the Allianz Arena? Bearing in mind Neymar's transfer was even more expensive, I have to say that we prefer the Allianz Arena. It's more important to us.”
Comparing Neymar’s transfer to the construction of Allianz Arena is not as crazy as it sounds as Business Insider reported that Neymar will end up costing PSG somewhere around $528 million including the transfer fee and his reported $53 million annual contract. The construction costs of Allianz Arena, which Bayern paid in full in 2014, came out to somewhere around $400 million.
Despite breaking the Bundesliga-record transfer fee with the acquisition of French midfielder Corentin Tolisso from Lyon earlier this summer, Rumenigge said that Bayern were not prepared to pay the transfer fees required to sign a player of Neymar’s stature.
“We are not willing to do this and are unable to do this,” Rumenigge said. “Moreover, that is OK -- the public and our fans believe this is the right way, I think. Bayern must use a different philosophy.”
Rumenigge also hit out at European politicians for a perceived lack of support in creating rules to limit the spending of European clubs: “Before FFP was introduced in 2011, I went to the EU Commission in Brussels several times with then UEFA president Michel Platini. A salary cap in European football was our aim -- which was always rejected. I ask myself why, before 2011, politicians failed to support the collective wish of UEFA and the clubs."
The Bayern CEO called for “more rationality” going forward and possibly the creation of rules that would seek to cap transfer fees.
"We have to discuss this within football, between FIFA, UEFA, the ECA, leagues and player association FIFPro,” Rumenigge said. “Everyone should sit around a table -- that is my suggestion. In that way, we could attain more rational regulations in football as a whole. Otherwise, the general public no longer understands and fans are alienated."