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€1.8m in the black: Bayern Munich the only 2020/21 European league champ to turn a profit

While other European rivals at the top of their leagues suffered devastating losses, Bayern Munich managed to make a profit during the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020/21

FC Bayern Muenchen Annual Meeting
Bayern Munich’s executive vice chairman responsible for finance, Jan-Christian Dreesen, at the Annual General Meeting on November 25, 2021.
Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

According to “The European Champions Report 2022” by KPMG”, Bayern Munich was almost alone among 2020/21 major European league champions to make a profit, amid steep losses across Europe on account of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic (summary here). Bayern managed to net €1.8m against all odds.

The KPMG found the following: “The only exception are German champions FC Bayern München, who managed to achieve a consecutive 29th profitable year. The Bavarian club, who since three decades achieve balance between competitiveness on the pitch and financial sustainability, represent one of the best management models in European sports history.”

Bayern also managed to keep their staff costs-to-operating revenue ratio at 58%, the lowest among the eight clubs assessed in the report.

The net losses suffered elsewhere are staggering: Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid had the highest annual losses: €245.6 and €111.7 respectively. But even these numbers pale in comparison to the “historical record net loss ... suffered by FC Barcelona in the same season.” Barca lost an incredible €481.3m.

Bayern’s financial stability was reflected in its retention of the Bundesliga championship: Bayern was the only champion in 2019/20 to do so again in 2020/21, winning its ninth Bundesliga trophy in a row.

The authors speculate that, “Bayern’s successful management might also explain why the club did not feel the need to participate in last year’s European Super League initiative.”

Bayern has been adamant about sustaining its business model with conservative yet significant investments in players and an emphasis on corporate revenue, which has witnessed growth over the pandemic. These policies have set Bayern apart from its domestic rivals, while they have kept the club in contention with its biggest European rivals.