Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich take great pride in their conservative spending policy and have vocally criticised Wednesday’s big-spending Champions League opponents Paris Saint-Germain, yet both clubs profit from Qatari investors.
On the eve of the key European game at Paris’ Parc de Princes, Bayern president Uli Hoenesss said the Germans would never follow the example of PSG, who paid a world record 222 million euros ($264 million) for Neymar in August.
In contrast to PSG, Bayern set a club record in June by paying a more modest 41.5m euros for midfielder Corentin Tolisso.
“I have made it clear that a player costing 100 million euros is unacceptable for Bayern”, Hoeness told German magazine Kicker.
Even Bayern’s hot-shot striker Robert Lewandowski has criticised Bayern’s reluctance to splash the cash.
“Bayern have to think something up and be more creative if the club wants to attract a world-class player to Munich,” Lewandowski told magazine Der Spiegel in a critical interview earlier this month which annoyed chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
– ‘madness’ –
While Hoeness, who said Lewandowski was entitled to his opinion, remains the driving source at Bayern, it is unlikely they will ever match the huge transfer fees PSG have paid.
After signing Neymar, PSG then completed a loan move for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe in a deal that includes an option to buy the French teenager for 180 million euros.
UEFA are investigating to see whether PSG violated its Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules in the process.
Hoeness described the trend of huge transfers for top players as ‘madness’, telling Kicker that Bayern’s time ‘will come’ when foreign investors tire of investing huge sums in clubs like PSG.
A Qatari investment group has owned PSG since 2011, making it the richest club in France, while Bayern is backed by a trio of Bavaria-based companies — Adidas, Allianz and Audi.
They are shareholders in the club, each holding 8.33 percent.
Bayern are the fourth richest club in the world with Deloitte estimating they turned over 592 million euros in 2016.
Adidas provide 60 million euros in sponsorship per year, while shirt-sponsors Telekom Deutschland provide a further 35 million euros, but their main overseas sponsor is from Qatar.
– ‘spit on Qatar’s money’ –
In August 2016, Doha’s Hamad International Airport joined as one of the club’s 12 ‘platinum partners’ in a deal reportedly worth up to six million euros per year.
Qatar’s main airport will have it’s logo on the sleeve of Bayern’s shirts until 2023.
The links between Bayern and the desert state go back to 2011, when the German club first held it’s annual mid-season training camp there.
Since January 2016, advertising boards featuring the HIA airport have been on show at Bayern’s Allianz Arena.
Bayern’s condescending attitude towards PSG’s Qatari-provided wealth has not gone down well in some sections of the German media.
“When they (Qatar) financed the absurd transfer of Neymar to Paris, the bosses Karl-Heinz Rumenigge (Bayern’s chairman) and Uli Hoeness suddenly become the guardians of footballs morality,” wrote weekly magazine Focus.
“‘We, FC Bayern, must apply another philosophy,’ said Rummenigge, but those men of Munich don’t spit on Qatar’s money.”