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Three out of five unvaccinated Bayern Munich players ready to flip, while internal rift grows wider

Controversy, controversy, controversy! They don’t call it FC Hollywood for nothing.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to a report by The Athletic, the issue of vaccination is causing a huge rift at Bayern Munich, one that could throw a wrench into the club’s future plans. There are accusations of leaks, tensions, and possibly some form of resolution to the whole fiasco.

Here’s a quick summary of the relevant info — if you want the whole thing, subscribe to The Athletic:

  • Bayern’s unvaccinated contingent believe that the club deliberately leaked the news of the quarantine pay cut to Bild in order to put pressure on the players in question.
  • Bayern, of course, continue to deny any official sanctions against the unvaxxed players, even though sources from The Athletic have confirmed the reports.
  • Relations between the squad and Hasan Salihamidzic were already strained after the departure of Hansi Flick in the summer — this won’t help matters. The Athletic claims that the issue could make extending Serge Gnabry’s contract a lot harder for Bayern.
  • Three out of five of the unvaccinated players are allegedly open to changing their minds, in the wake of talks with an immunologist, physicians, and teammates. A resolution for them could be found as early as this week, as they could get the jab while in quarantine.

Basically none of this is good news, apart from that last point. Here’s our take on The Athletic’s reporting:

  • The leak had to have come from someone in the board or the first team, but it may not have been deliberate. Bayern have had a mole in the team for years now. Then again, this board has proven capable and willing to use to the German media to put unofficial pressure on players, such as in the cases of Manuel Neuer and David Alaba’s contract extensions. So maybe the players have a point.
  • The news that Brazzo and the squad have strained relations with each other is nothing new, and it feels like this was an unavoidable confrontation. It’s hard to see what else the club could have done — protecting the unvaccinated players would’ve invited a mountain of criticism upon the whole institution.
  • If three out of five players want to get the jab, then they should. The report mentions that doctors told them not to get the vaccine during the season, presumably due to potential short term side effects. As a student, I was told the same when I had my second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine coming up a few days before an exam.

If the players finally decide to get vaccinated, then we could probably put all of this controversy behind us very quickly. But if only three out of five are convinced after all the controversy of the previous weeks, then it feels like some of these players are ready to dig in their heels. Unfortunately, this anti-vaxx story feels like it’s here to stay.


BTW, we happen to have a podcast on all things Bayern Munich, and in the latest episode we discussed this very topic (among other things). Why not give it a try?