For most Bayern fans and audiences that follow public statements and media announcements, Bayern is a poor club severely hit by covid. The board members from Heiner to Kahn and Brazzo insisting every now and then that Bayern has no money due to Covid but that’s a fat lie!
To understand Bayern finances you should consider some facts:
- Bayern is normally amongst top 3 team in the world on commercial revenue
- Bayern is normally amongst top 4 teams in the world for total revenue
- Bayern is the only debt free club amongst regular champions league contenders
- Bayern's financial report for the 2018–19 season (pre-Covid) reported revenue of €750.4 million and an operating profit of €146.1 million
- Bayern is (probably) the only football club in the world with over 30 years straight profit on the books even during Covid
- It was rumoured that Bayern had a bank account in excess of 200 million euros before pandemic from the accumulation of all the profits in past years and wanted to spend 100 million on Sane. We eventually spent around half of it.
Going into pandemic and making profit every year means that Bayern still had a fat account starting this transfer window. But why all the whining?! That’s just negotiation tactics. The sound german business model created by Uli Hoeness that I fell in love with, was not based on high salaries and expensive transfers. It was a juggernaut stemmed from some local Bavarian boys in 70s and a successful club that attracts the best for its aurora. The model was not working properly after oligarchs and sheikhs turned wages and transfer fees upside down. Last year, Bayern needed to extend many players and compete with astronomical wages in premier league, La Liga and PSG. Whining about Covid was just a way (probably not a very successful one) to limit the rise in salaries. But the more important outcome of this tactic is the sellers perception of Bayern’s financial limits. What Dortmund and Liverpool did to Barcelona when they knew they have the Neymar sales money, never happened to Bayern. Brazzo signed Mane super cheap, Gravenberch at a reasonable price and a more mature De ligt lower than what Juventus paid for a 19 year old (probably in 4 instalments too!).
Another change in Bayern strategy was selling for (almost) the right price. Uli was a financial genius but also very stubborn. Many players under his management or influence left the club for free or sold cheap. If it was up to him, Lewa would stay another year and go for free. Now even with all the expensive transfers this summer, the balance sheet doesn’t look that bad.
There is no concern about Bayern future big signings like Kane. The biggest concern under new management and tactics will be the inflated pay roll with at least 9 players earning over 15mil a year and all future signings and extensions aiming for the same. Let’s hope Bayern can keep the positive revenue for many years to come.