Could Bayern Munich renew their partnership with Qatar Airways? CEO Oliver Kahn touched upon a deal that is still very much up in the air.
“It’s about weighing up: Can we get a partnership in which we bring our economic goals as well as our social responsibility together with our partner?” Kahn explained in a recent Sport Bild interview (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
The partnership been a contentious topic, especially in the aftermath of the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup. In Qatar, Germany prominently offended the host nation by making a show of team protest at FIFA’s late decision to ban the OneLove armband. And the club itself has faced some internal charges for the association with the nation.
Kahn’s words are carefully measured, and steer clear of making a big statement.
The stakes on Bayern’s side are clear: a renewed deal would bring in a chunk of funds, and the club has long maintained that it needs this kind of backing to remain competitive in a future poised to be dominated by so-called “investor clubs”, such as Manchester City. This year’s Champions League finalists have had the resources to assemble a club (and keep around a world-class manager) that few in the world could keep up with.
On the other hand, Bayern are a club with social values and commitments as well. Any deal is a two-way street, and one that would encourage the club to curb those commitments may not be seen as consistent with Bayern values. Presumably, Kahn is defining the situation to the other party as well as to club supporters: that there are certain criteria which must be met for a deal to go forward.