Applauding allowed – Sport –

The first long, really persistent applause of the evening was for someone who is no longer with FC Bayern Munich. Herbert Hainer stood at the lectern, trophies on his right, trophies on his left. In his opening speech, the club president spoke about the past two years at the German record champions, about titles, successes and balance sheets. And then he thanked the coach again, who was largely responsible for it. The members applauded for national coach Hansi Flick.

However, what the applause meant that evening, whether it really reflected the mood at FC Bayern, was not that easy to say. And that was only an indication of the special features of the event.

Annual general meetings of FC Bayern were usually great folklore, you don’t even have to look far into the past for the latest evidence. In 2019, Uli Hoeneß said goodbye as President. There was a “Thank you, Uli” poster and at least almost a few tears. 6091 members came to the Olympic Hall because the club feared that the basketball hall would not be enough. This time? Came 780 of the allowed 1700 because the basketball hall could only be filled to 25 percent. Whoever was inside had to be recovered, vaccinated and tested, the 2-G-Plus rule applied, as well as an FFP2 mask requirement. At the beginning, Hainer also mentioned the request to keep your distance. When the reactions were extraordinarily restrained in his first short pause, he expressly pointed out that applauding was allowed.

1.9 million euros in net income is comparatively little – and on closer inspection it is a triumph

The meeting on Thursday evening was the first since the start of the pandemic, it was canceled in 2020, this time it was only allowed under certain conditions. That clouded the premiere for Oliver Kahn as CEO, it even clouded the traditionally triumphant announcement of the business figures a little bit. If the German industry leader usually reports records, the result for the 2020/21 season was also about a pandemic-related decline at FC Bayern: 1.9 million euros in net income instead of 9.8 million, and in 2019 it was as much as 52.5 million been. However, on closer inspection, it was a triumph: Borussia Dortmund recorded a loss of 72.8 million euros in the second Corona financial year 2020/21. The total turnover of FC Bayern has decreased by more than 100 million euros from 750.4 million euros to 643.9 million euros since the record year 2019.

The pandemic is also shaping the mood beyond the numbers, because the fourth corona wave has been directly affecting the team for weeks. Only the evening before, the club had to send the latest message with the greatest possible potential for excitement on the subject: Joshua Kimmich, who has been with FC Bayern since August with a contract until 2025 and celebrated as the face of the future, since October the most famous unvaccinated person in the country, is now positive tested for the corona virus – one day after the news of the vaccinations of Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala, two of the five previously unvaccinated in the Bayern squad, had spread.

Hainer, 67, said: “We at FC Bayern see vaccination as the best way that we can all lead the life we ​​had before Corona again.” He can promise that you will constantly try to influence the players. Unsurprisingly, the audience, all vaccinated, applauded. But they also applauded when Hainer repeated the words of national coach Flick the day before: It was not okay to “pillory” Joshua Kimmich. FC Bayern is firmly by the side of the players, that is out of the question. Hainer also said this knowing that the relationship between Kimmich and the club is no longer considered to be completely unencumbered over the past few weeks.

Oliver Kahn also spoke about vaccination. You do persuade yourself, also with the players. But Corona leads to uncertainties for many people. And he doesn’t see any reason why it should be any different in football.

Because it was his first speech as CEO of FC Bayern AG, the former goalkeeper also spoke about his first days on Säbener Strasse in a new role, “coming home” he called it. He also thanked his predecessor Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for having “endured” him, Kahn, for a year and a half and for having let him look over his shoulder. Rummenigge himself wasn’t in the hall.

Kahn put the focus on the position of FC Bayern in international comparison. He advocated a “salary cap”, a salary cap. It must be prevented that investors are allowed to spend unlimited money. And Kahn received long applause when he noticed that the “Super League” project had completely collapsed.

“Fie” and “Boo”, and Hainer asks: “Are you against a factual and professional dialogue?”

But the most emotional topic of the evening was something else, and that has also preoccupied the club for weeks: Club member Michael Ott, a trainee lawyer from Mainz, wanted to introduce a motion to vote on the future of the controversial sponsorship by Qatar Airways. A few hours before the meeting, the 13th Civil Chamber of the District Court of Munich I “rejected the immediate appeal against the decision of the District Court of Munich” against “an addition to the agenda with regard to sponsorship by Qatar Airways”. Ott had turned to the court because FC Bayern had not yet approved the application at the end of last week.

The association is not obliged to “discuss further sponsorship by Qatar Airlines” at the annual general meeting, the court said. “We will still try a spontaneous application tonight,” explained Ott. At the time of going to press for this issue, it was not yet clear whether he received the 75 percent approval required for such an application to be approved by the end of the evening. But the mood in the hall, which was usually very quiet, indicated this. The Qatar critics under agenda item 9, motions that included Ott with other concerns, received a standing ovation in the hall.

While Kahn avoided the word “Qatar” and only spoke of “national and international partners”, in whose choice “social, economic and environmental factors” would also play a role in the future, Hainer specifically addressed the topic in his opening speech: ” We as an association face every discourse. ” Of course there should also be criticism. “But the criticism should always be factual and sober,” he said, referring to Ott, who called the association “cowardly” and “mean”. “It is,” shouted someone from the upper tier, many shouted “Fie” and “Boo”, and there were whistles. Hainer asked: “Are you against a factual and professional dialogue?”

Then he pleaded again for a factual exchange. And he received applause from those who hadn’t whistled and booed beforehand. But rather cautious.



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