Bayern Munich: The Philosophy of its Own Fans

Bayern Munich finance director Jan-Christian Dreesen has spoken to the media recently claiming that his club was able to sign every single player they were interested in signing. Any player that Pep Guardiola asked for was signed by the club without turning down any request from the Catalan coach. Dreesen added that Bayern can afford to spend €100 million on a single player but he doesn’t see the need for that.

Compared to the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and even Ligue 1, Bundesliga clubs generate less revenue from TV rights. Bayern Munich are hoping to increase their revenue from tv rights as well as sponsorship and merchandising but they are loyal to their fans, they will always keep the ticket prices within reach. Not content with being among the elite on the pitch, the German champions are now among the richest off it yet they insist on playing it their own way rather than adapting to the standards set by the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and the Premier League clubs.

Club Annual Salary Bill TV Rights
Bayern Munich €180 million €26million
Manchester United €293 million €139 million
Arsenal €228 million €119 million
Chelsea €261 million €144 million
Manchester City €281 million €120 million
Liverpool €181 million €88 million

Bayern’s wage bill remains considerably low compared to Europe’s elite clubs with no player earning anywhere near £200,000 per week. At Manchester United Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria, Robin Van Persie and Radamel Falcao combined earn close to a £1 million per week. With a salary bill of €180 million, the German club is able to attract and retain one of the world’s best squads in the world without feeling the pressure to increase the salaries of Arjen Robben, Frank Ribery and Manuel Neuer. Money generated from TV Rights and deals seems to be quite low in the Bundesliga with much more focus being given to the Premier League and the two La Liga giants. However, Munich are coping with this issue by controlling their expenses.

Despite a defeat to Real Madrid in last year’s UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Pep Guardiola’s club remains the world’s most valuable club.  Bayern retains its top spot after another year of domestic dominance under the guidance of Guardiola. The Bundesliga title was won in record time and the domestic double sealed with its DFB Pokal victory over rivals Borussia Dortmund. However, failure in the Champions League following a 5-0 loss against Real Madrid had a small impact on decreasing the club’s value but it was still enough to surpass European champions Real Madrid. The club is ready to capitalize on its brand’s strength with US and Chinese fans increasing at rapid paces. The Bundesliga was sleeping internationally but now with millions of fans liking its facebook page, the club has the best opportunity to appeal to a wider audience.

Real Madrid haven’t been playing their best football in 2015 if things don’t change Los Merengues are likely to end the season with their last success being the Club World Cup which means Bayern Munich have a chance to regain momentum and further increase their value if they manage to seal the domestic double and reach the semi-finals of the European competition. What’s interesting about Bayern Munich is that the club is owned mostly by its own fans backed by three sponsors Adidas, Allianz and Audi who own 25% of the club with 75% in the hands of the fans.

bayern

The Bundesliga rules imply that all clubs should have at least 50% of their ownership in the hands of the fans, this has enabled financial stability across the whole league. Bayern doesn’t have rich foreign oweners from Qatar, Russia or the US, they rely on themselves and so they developed their own philosophy of managing the club keeping in mind both short and long term interests. With no debt and plenty of profit, the Bavarians focused not only on developing their own youth system but supporting youth across all Germany. While Real Madrid spends hundreds of millions signing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and others, the majority of FC Bayern’s starting lineup is either homemade or signed a few years ago, dramatically limiting transfer costs.

Bayern must show they can keep up with the rest of the world.  In a world of multi-million player transfers and billionaire-backed rivals, FC Bayern managed to climb all the way to the top backed by financial stability while keeping close to their roots. Bayern Munich is the club of the fans and a model for the rest of Europe to follow. By abiding to their own philosophy, the Bavarians remind us that the fans are the most thing that matters in football

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