Created on 26-02-2010 at 00:00 AM
It was born 110 years ago in a Munich tavern, and is now one of the most famous names in world football. With more than 153,000 members and annual turnover in excess of €300m, Bayern is Germany’s biggest sports club, and part of an international elite on a par with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Bayern also boast rock-solid financial foundations, by no means a given in the world of football nowadays. Purely in terms of sporting success, the Reds are far and away Germany’s most successful club with 43 domestic and eight European and world trophies on the honours list. To mark the club’s 110th anniversary on 27 February, fcbayern.de spoke to chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge about the tradition, loyalty and mystique associated with FC Bayern Munich.
Anniversary interview with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge:
fcbayern.de: Bayern will be 110 at the weekend. In your opinion, where does the club rank in German and international football?
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “I think Bayern is unique, both at home and abroad. I’m lucky enough to be reminded of this all the time, especially when I’m travelling. Our club is hugely respected in the world of football, not just because it’s successful, but because it’s reliable and solid. Bayern has become the figurehead for German football.”
fcbayern.de: Do you have a concrete example of the regard for Bayern overseas?
Rummenigge: “UEFA President Michel Platini was in Munich recently. He’s a true footballing man, he played at the very highest levels, he’s an inspirational promoter of the game. We lunched with the Fiorentina delegation ahead of our Champions League meeting, and I sensed enormous respect for the club from all our visitors. Not just because of our good and successful team, but also simply because of our philosophy as a club – that we want success, but affordable success. And there’s one thing we absolutely don’t want: success built on debt. This goes down very well with outside observers and is often held up as an example for other clubs and associations. Bayern is successful, but not on borrowed money. We succeed with money we’ve previously earned ourselves.”
fcbayern.de: You often hear the Bavarian phrase Mia san mia closely associated with Bayern. Could you explain that to all our non-Bavarian readers?
Rummenigge: Mia san mia, “We are who we are”, isn’t just about proud and defiant success. It’s also about responsibility, help and support, and loyally sticking together like a family. Our aims aren’t restricted to sporting success and a well-run club, we believe we have to fulfil our social and community responsibilities. I think our 110th birthday is a good moment to insist we never lose sight of these values.”