Some 1,682 members of Bayern Munich assembled at the Audi Dome for Bayern’s annual general assembly. Financial director Jan-Christian Dreesen, president Uli Hoeness, and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, among others, all addressed the crowd.
Record membership and record revenue
The biggest club in the world, Bayern Munich has grown ever bigger this year. The official number of members has swelled to a whopping 291,000.
Der größte Verein der Welt! ⚪ ⚪#MiaSanMia #FCBayern pic.twitter.com/KP8rqwXXFW— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) November 30, 2018
The club’s financial basis also remains rock-solid. This year, Bayern’s total revenue was record €657.4m, with a profit of €29.5m (the record is €39.2m in 2016-2017, followed by €33m in 2015-2016). Hoeness confirmed that financial director Dreesen and internationalization director Jörg Wacker had already extended their contracts for five years and he added that marketing director Andreas Jung would do so as well in the coming days.
Bayern ready to invest in the team
Hoeness then informed the assembly that the club and the supervisory board had agreed at their last session that they will make serious investments in the squad for the coming 2019-2020 season:
I moreover can report to you that the club and supervisory board decided very clearly at the last session that we will invest next year in rather grand style. Because next year, the reservations that I previously mentioned regarding the somewhat older players who then may potentially retire, will no longer be there.
And the club then will have the room as well as the necessary capital to reinforce the team so that we will be more than a match for every opponent in the Bundesliga and most international opponents. That must be the ambition.
It would have been easy for all of us now to take a large amount of money in our hands, but all of us in the front office are of the opinion that under the conditions that I previously mentioned, it would have been unwise to spend so much money now.
We are called on to invest what we have made out of FC Bayern in the past five or ten years so that it guarantees long-term and lasting success. And not so see whether we are now in first place from week to week.
Kovac and Kahn
After thanking Jupp Heynckes for his incredible success last season, Hoeness expressed his support of Niko Kovac to considerable applause:
In Niko Kovac we have signed a very, very good, young coach. He has earned a chance. And we should all give him our support!
There team and coach have closed ranks! There have been many conversations between Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the sporting director, the coach, and the team. I think that this season can still be a really good one.
When Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke, he acknowledged that injury had not made life easy for Kovac and was confident in Bayern’s prospects next year:
We would have probably had a few more points, if our biggest talent, Kingsley Coman, hadn’t injured himself!
I’m confident that we will have a team next year that not only will compete for titles, but also win titles. Don’t worry about that at all!
Hoeness also confirmed that Oliver Kahn is being considered for an important leadership role, but noted that Bayern is planning with him over the longer term, not in the near future:
I can assure you that the name Oliver Kahn plays a part in our considerations. But that is not a subject for today or for tomorrow.
Nein to the Super League and other notabilia
Rummenigge reiterated Bayern’s strict opposition to the idea of a European Super League of elite teams.
FC Bayern will also remain a member of the Bundesliga, the Champions League, and the DFB-Pokal. As long as Uli Hoeness and I are in office, we will never agree to exiting the national and European competitions.
Among other notable moments, Corentin Tolisso and Alphonso Davies were in attendance at the meeting.
A fan unfurled a North Korean flag in the area with the words “Not my president” on it, in reference to Hoeness.
Protest gegen #Hoeneß auf Nordkorea-Art. Uli einer wie Kim? #FCBJHV @SPORT1 pic.twitter.com/TWRvptitBZ— Stefan Kumberger (@Kumbert) November 30, 2018
Hoeness defended his appearance at Bayern’s now infamous press conference, but acknowledged that much could have been improved. He promised that if and when the club does something similar again, they will come better coordinated and show “better form.”
Rummenigge was interrupted during his remarks by fans protesting the gray seats that remain in the Allianz Arena. After Rummenigge had reiterated that Bayern’s home jerseys would no longer feature blue, that apparently does not go far enough: the fans demand red and white seats, not gray!
The biggest round of applause of the evening? Not for Jupp Heynckes, not for Niko Kovac, but for Juan Bernat, as Rummenigge was thanking the players who had left the club. “As you can see,” Rummenigge added, “he’s playing a good part in Paris.” Bernat scored on Wednesday in PSG’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool.
— Quotations translated from BILD FC Bayern (Twitter). Cf. the live-ticker at AZ.