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Bayern Munich’s Herbert Hainer goes into damage control mode, says club will learn from chaotic annual meeting

After a brief period of silence the club’s most important voice spoke about the meeting.

FC Bayern Muenchen Annual Meeting Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer finally opened about the club’s annual general meeting (kicker). After prematurely ending the meeting, the president ironically emphasised the importance of “constructive exchange”. However, stating that the club will rethink and intensify communication with its members as well as directly inviting the members who couldn’t speak on Thursday, Hainer has taken a step in the right direction.

FC Bayern Muenchen Doha Training Camp - Day 6
Bayern usually have their winter break camps in Qatar despite a sizeable chunk of fans being vociferously against the country

The Qatar issue is muddy waters, there are no two ways about that. The footballing world has entangled itself into a knot with a nation that has serious allegations about human rights violations. The sport however has nudged the country towards positive progress in certain areas which was recently explored in this article. Bayern is just a small piece but a piece that cannot be ignored in the bigger picture.

Like the Bayern board members and club president Hainer themselves have said it, communication and constructive exchange is key. Hushing it up and having talks behind the scenes rarely help in such scenarios. If the board were not willing to have a vote on the Qatar sponsorship, the least they could have done was to give an open update on their talks with the sponsor, the club’s stand on human rights in said negotiations and the like. But calling the annual general meeting “not the right place” to have any discussion about it was laughable.

More than the core issue, the Bayern members were irked about the way in which the club went about its proceedings and the thumping “Hainer out” chants began after the president prematurely ended the meeting. Three members did not get an opportunity to speak. However, the president has invited them directly, “I contacted the three members, who no longer had their say, directly and invited them to talk,” said Hainer. “We will learn from this, and it is clear that we will rethink and intensify communication with our members.”

The president’s willingness to rethink and increase communication with the members is a step in the right direction. Hopefully and together as a family, the club can end this issue with meaningful speed and quash the notion about “delaying tactics” they are being accused of.

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