Qatar looked very remote in the snow from Kiev on Tuesday evening, but already on Thursday the controversial business relations of FC Bayern in the emirate are again becoming increasingly popular. Two days after the prematurely secured group victory of the Munich team in the Champions League by the 2-1 at Dynamo, the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Munich team is due. There is no shortage of material for debate, although there are clear signs of easing, at least with regard to the vaccination issue.
Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala are said to have already had themselves vaccinated, according to the specialist magazine “kicker”, Joshua Kimmich and Michaël Cuisance are now also considering this, according to “Bild”. Since Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has now become infected and should therefore soon be considered recovered, the Munich team would be rid of the annoying and dangerous ongoing topic at the beginning of the second half of the season. The pressing questions about Qatar will remain with FC Bayern until at least 2023. Until then, the contract with sponsor Qatar Airways, the state airline of the World Cup host from 2022, runs.
Association member Michael Ott, a trainee lawyer in Mainz, had requested that the contract should not be extended because of the human rights violations in the emirate. Initially, this application was not approved. Ott accuses FC Bayern of “delaying tactics” and “cowardice”. However, he continues to defend himself legally after his temporary injunction was recently rejected by the Munich district court on the grounds that there was insufficient urgency. Ott reserves the right to submit a spontaneous application to the YHV. The topic should come up anyway.
“For me this is not a secondary theater of war,” said Julian Nagelsmann about the likely Qatar debate at the YHV, for which he announced he would be coming. He was “not afraid of the debate,” said the trainer. “I think it’s always important to have a dialogue. The same applies to the annual general meeting. «In the past, President Herbert Hainer had put forward the line of argumentation that the club management had been cultivating for years, according to which they would rely on a dialogue with Qatar in order to contribute to changes in the human rights issue.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO until June, recently stated that the contract with Qatar Airways had made “good money”. Allegedly it should be around 20 million euros annually. That would not be three percent of the last known total turnover of almost 700 million euros in the 2019/20 financial year.
The Hamburg brand expert and consumer philosopher Oliver Errichiello differentiates between his private and professional perspectives when it comes to FC Bayern’s controversial business relationships with Qatar. “As a person I say: It is a huge catastrophe that Pecunia non olet (money doesn’t stink, editor) has been confirmed again. When coal is involved, you let all the principles go, whether at Fifa, Uefa or FC Bayern, ”explains the 47-year-old. “As a brand sociologist, I say: Qatar’s sportswashing doesn’t really damage the FC Bayern brand.”
This is also due to the fact that this cooperation confirms the negative prejudices against the club and the big sport, according to which at this level it’s all about money anyway. “Nothing else is expected,” says Errichiello, “that’s why I see next to no consequences for the FC Bayern brand.” In addition, the fans’ emotional bond with the club is so deep that the brand is very stable.
However, the people of Munich have to ask themselves whether it would be helpful in the long term to “make easy money,” regardless of all concerns. The viability of this strategy is doubtful. “If you come to this point of view within the club, it means: FC Bayern needs an exit strategy.” Dhabi and Saudi Arabia are funded, and values such as credibility are what Errichiello does not consider to be a romantic ideal. »In marketing theory that would be a terrific story. Because so far there has not been a large club that does it like that, ”he says. “Anyone who now manages to become a beacon with an ethical approach could open up new sources of income.” Other sponsors like to adorn themselves with this.
For Errichiello, this strategy would also have the effect that other clubs “are perceived as increasingly bad”. However, such a path would have to prove itself economically. And whether that will work is only known after ten years at the earliest. “It would be a long way for FC Bayern,” says Errichiello, who thinks it is the most promising.