2020 brought an incredible set of challenges for everyone throughout the footballing world, let alone the world itself. All things considered, for everything that happened due to the coronavirus pandemic, it really could not have gone any better for Bayern Munich having remained fiscally responsible and securing yet another historic treble.
Looking ahead, though, 2021 will pose a new set of challenges for Bayern and clubs all across the globe, but Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is confident Bayern can take them head on. In a recent interview, he offered his thoughts for what the club will face in 2021 and how they’ll deal with it (via FCBayern.com).
Economically, the coronavirus has taken a massive hit on all football clubs. Looking forward, Rummenigge said that it will be a challenge in 2021 to stay financially sound and he hopes that fans will be allowed back in venues as soon as it’s safe to do so: “The biggest challenge is COVID-19 and the consequences of this pandemic. The economic damage is enormous, but our industry is even more seriously affected by the fact that our fans aren’t allowed into stadiums because of this virus. Because at the end of the day, it’s about exciting people. I really hope 2021 will soon bring solutions, for football but above all for society as a whole.”
When the sporting world was at a standstill for over two months, Germany paved the way forward with their tactful and precise planning to able to bring the Bundesliga back in the middle of May. The DFL worked in close coordination with the German government to be able to solidify plans to bring matches back without fans present in the venues and the Bundesliga was the first major sporting league to resume action. With that said, Rummenigge recognized the fact that the Bundesliga fared better than some of the other leagues around the globe: “The Bundesliga on the whole has dealt relatively well with this crisis. We developed a concept and strategy early on. Our restart last spring drew attention from around the world. That was important as a sign that things are moving forward. The economic damage is more severe for the bigger clubs because they have higher running costs.”
He continued by saying the crisis could actually help in terms of reducing the ridiculous fees that some players in Europe require. He’s long been a staunch critic along with Uli Hoeness for some of the ridiculous fees European leagues have seen for certain players in recent years. “For example, there has still been no correction in the salary structure for the top players. Those who reach for the top shelf still have to accept spending a lot. On the other hand, transfer spending has halved compared to previous years. We’re not experiencing absurd sums like we did two years ago, and I doubt whether the amounts will ever reach such dimensions again. In principle, that’s good because very few fans had any understanding for those astronomical sums.”
Bayern has always been a pioneer for exploring cutting edge technology, powerful initiatives, and bettering the overall interactive fan experience with the club. Looking forward to the new year, Rummenigge said they’re able to adapt hygiene protocols as need be and that will help them be ready to accept fans back into the Allianz Arena when they’re given the green light to do so, as everyone so desperately wants: “I think the whole world is waiting for the vaccine and hopes it will bring back a certain normality. We at FC Bayern constantly adapt our hygiene concepts. We are constantly striving to optimize, to be ready for when the time comes that it’s once again possible to visit the stadium without worrying about your health. Predictions are difficult. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll once again have spectators back in the Allianz Arena over the course of the year.”