Every year, Bayern Munich’s annual general meeting brings the much anticipated release of the club financial statements for the year before. Once again, the results are cause for celebration for the Bayern fan. While Forbes and Swiss Ramble (you could lose yourself in their analysis for days) have taken a deep dive, BFW is delivering five key pieces of news from the disclosures.
- Virtually everything is up. Overall revenues up, commercial revenues up, profits up, prize money and TV money up. All of the significant indicators are pointing up, often at record levels. The only slight downturn was in gate receipts on account of the fact that Bayern missed out on hosting some Champions League matches because of their early exit last season.
- Player wages are up as well, 11% over the year previous. This is part of an overall trend in sports. Average wages in the English Premier League, for comparison, have increased 15% year over year. Bayern’s wage to revenue ratio has slowly moved from 44% to 51%. In the current environment, many experts suggest 60% is the optimal ratio, so it seems management has the club right on track at the right time.
- The early Champions League exit stung, but it did not leave a mark. In fact, Bayern earned nine million euros more from the Champions League last season over the season before (€70 million increased to €79 million) due to a 54% increase in prize money. The amount of money on offer from the Champions League means that a single good year in that tournament can now have a long-term positive impact on a medium or smaller-sized club.
- Bayern runs with the big dogs and dwarfs the local dogs. Bayern’s overall revenue, player wages, and other key financial indicators are competitive with the other top teams in the world. Domestically, Bayern outstrips Dortmund by large amounts in all key financial categories. In fact, considering that the club has no significant long-term debt, there is an argument that Bayern is the most fiscally sound football team on the planet, especially in the long term.
- Player sales have become an increasingly important source of revenue for the club. Average annual profits from player sales have been €49 million over the last six years.
So Bayern fans can rest easy when it comes to financial issues at the club. The team has built a wide, deep, and solid foundation to compete and win the money game today and going forward. The best news is that, with no significant debt and no greedy shareholders looking to carve out profits for themselves, the club can direct this money to producing the best possible product on the field.