In the modern day of football, top clubs which live by principles are hard to find. FC Bayern Munich is one such club. Unlike many other top tier teams, money is not the be all and end all and tradition is very important. Bayern are well known to be among the top best run clubs in football with a tactic of employing former players with 'Bayern DNA' in management positions. Such former players are president Uli Hoeness and sporting director Hasan 'Brazzo' Salihamidzic. *Assume prices are in Euros if given no word or symbol*
Here are a few ways Bayern show their values and ethics:
Feelings on the current market and comments about James
CEO Karl Heinz Rummenigee recently stated in an interview that Bayern wouldn’t flip James and doing such a thing would be akin to “human trafficking”. However, other teams would gladly ‘traffic’ James, so this displays Bayern’s ethics and morality. Although the maintenance of their “good relationship” with RM is also a factor, 90%+ of clubs would not shy away from an easy 15M+ (RM are apparently looking for up to 70M euros for James (!). The fact James won’t be flipped also further cements the fair reputation of Bayern.
Secondly, in recent years before and after Neymar’s mammoth 200 M move to PSG, the transfer market has become seriously inflated and preposterous. FC Hollywood have been commendable during this period with their top transfer in the season’s before 2018-19 only €40M. Such a stance is commendable and the ‘bosses’ of Bayern have even said the current market is ludicrous. Furthermore, instead of heightening the problem they have decided to spend scarcely (compared to the RM’s, Barca’s and Utd’s of the world) and try to find solution against this issue.
Unlike other clubs, Bayern are particularly frugal, only investing on the right player at the right price. As a result, more often than not, Bayern’s big money signings turn out to be success’ (Robben, Javi,Tolliso etc…). The fact Bayern have been able to consistently compete at top of the European football pyramid is astounding, considering how much more the likes of Man Utd and PSG have spent, without getting similar results.
Although Bayern have already spent more than 100M this summer transfer window and are likely to spend up to 180M more, this type of rebuild only happens at FC Hollywood every 6-10 years. A totally different proposition than for example Man City, who have consistently broken the 150 M mark season after season. Moreover, last season only Alphonso Davies was bought, as a result Bayern aren’t really spending 250 M this season but over the coarse of 2 seasons.
Finally, their business is very smart, which is shown in the free signings of Lewandowski, Hummels, Goretzka and the transfers of Benjimin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez. The signing of these Frenchmen is particularly smart as they both can play at right and left fullback respectively, in addition to CB. This increase our depth massively in positions which we have been forced to play Rafinha in crucial CL ties. With proper, reassuring and defensively able full back depth, issues such as Rafinha’s mistakes vs Madrid and Liverpool will be less likely to happen. Mistakes which have cost Bayern!
Commitment to buying young players and the youth academy
Bayern have always placed a strong emphasis on youth with the likes of Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Phillip Lahm rising through the ranks on the youth setup. This serves multiple puposes such as the German player rule in the BL, saving costs of buying players and maintaining the Bavarian identify of the club. It’s also part of the ‘Bayern identity” and strategy to develop youth players, a strategy that won’t be discontinued for quite some time.
Recently FCB opened their new youth setup worth approx…80M. Reaffirming their dedication to youth, which has been tradition for years. Unfortunately, in recent seasons, youth stars integrating to the first team hasn’t been common. Hopefully because of this new acadamy there will be a new generation of world class players.
Unlike many top clubs, Bayern have shown they will give youth a chance. Shown when Van Gaal famously said “Muller will always play in my team” despite his tender age. This has also been shown through Bayern’s purchases of young players like Kimmich and Tolliso, big successes. At other clubs, such players wouldn’t have been given immediate trust and chances in the first team they have been afforded here, however at Bayern, a 21-22 Kimmich was given the opportunity to replace the legendary Lahm, with the thought of buying a replacement scraped in favor of youth.
FCB, yet again unlike many top clubs, have a very close relationship with their supporters. This is seen through their annual visits to Bayern fanclubs throughout Germany. This tradition has been going on for years and lets the players and staff pay respect to the fans and give the fans a little something back for their continued support of the club.
As opposed to ticket prices in the premier league (which can be over double that of Bayern’s for the same quality of seat), Bayern pride themselves on low ticket prices so that anyone can watch. A season ticket (category 1) in Munich is 750 Euros as opposed to the 2000 Euros in RM and season tickets in the south terraces of the Allianz are as low as 140 Euros!
This respect is important as it goes both ways. Bayern fans will always support their team to the final whistle and the players will always clap the fans, even during heartbreaking CL losses.
Benefit matches and loans
If Arsenal were in trouble financially, would Spurs help them out? Didn’t think so, although this logic doesn’t apply to Bayern Munich. In 2004 when Dortmund were struggling – so much so they failed to pay some wages, Bayern bailed BVB out with a 2 million loan. This act of goodwill displays the values of helping others out and being an example to all. Instead of letting a major rival fall to their feet, Bayern helped them pick their selves back up, in a move that turned out to be very beneficial to the BL in the long term.
There have been countless benefit matches over the years, with Bayern helping fallen giants who are in financial peril. Most recently Bayern played Kaiserslautern at Fritz-Walter stadium with all proceeds going towards ‘slautern’s 3 Liga fee. It’s admirable that Bayern play these matches for no personal gain, but the gain of German football and these clubs. These matches highlight their values on helping the greater good and ‘traditional’ clubs in trouble. It takes a special club to on countless time, lend a helping hand.
Mia San Mia
One thing Bayern have always struck true to is their identity. “We are who we are” describes Bayern perfectly, as they do everything how they want to and carry on with traditions. The motto illustrates the uniqueness of Bayern and how they are innovators (in how clubs should be run),how they make their own decisions, have their own commendable identity and adhere to their values.
A reason that Bayern are so keen on German players and particularly Bavarian’s is to retain the spirit of the club and it’s local roots. FCB has countless traditions not held by other clubs such as : the guard of honour (yes Americans, honour) if Bayern win the BL (by former players), the visits to fanclubs annually, low ticket prices, benefit matches and countless other things which make Bayern into a club with such a unique individuality and respect.
One such German and Bavarian player is a certain Thomas Muller. He’s not only important on the pitch but off the pitch as he embodies Mia San Mia, with his unique playing style, ‘average’ name and physical attributes and likability.
While having values and being careful with money, Bayern still compete at the top year in year out aswell as making a profit in each of their last 26 seasons, a figure not matched by any of the other clubs in Europe’s upper echelon.
There are a few exceptions to Bayern retaining their values. One example being their association with Qatar, through their training camp there and Qatar’s airport logo on the side of the Bayern jersey. Qatar has long been frowned upon for their human rights, or lack of…
Personally, I believe Bayern’s exceptional values far outweigh the few blips at FCB. Echoing Sir Alex’s recent remarks, Bayern should be an example for all world class clubs to follow. They are run excellently from top to bottom and retain their Mia San Mia ethos and local idenitiy in the process.
There is truly no other (top) club in the world who places as much importance on values, ethics and tradition and long may this continue.