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Club in ‘robust good health’

FCB membership hails greatest-ever year

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Trophies at the front of the hall are always an important component of Bayern’s closely observed Annual General Meeting. Last year there were none – but the 2013 gathering was blessed with no fewer than four major trophies. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge feels there is room for another: “Pep, we have an assignment for you,” declared the chairman, looking forward to the Club World Cup in December. “I hope you can fulfil it. We could make space up here on the stage.” The 3,573 members in the Audi Dome laughed, Guardiola grinned - and returned his gaze to the glittering array of prizes.

“We’ve all been through an unbelievable year,” continued Rummenigge, “it’s probably the most extraordinary and wonderful time ever in the 113-year history of FC Bayern. It can never have been better to be a fan of this football club.“ Even the great team of the 70s never won the treble, Rummenigge noted.

“You won’t believe how proud I am of this club,” added Hoeneß. The club’s image and reputation has soared around the world, so it is no accident that FCB are preparing to open a New York office, possibly followed by a branch in Shanghai. The meeting repeatedly responded enthusiastically to mentions of the previous season, with personal acclaim for Hoeneß and last season’s treble-winning coach Jupp Heynckes.

'Super-Bayern, Super-Bayern'

Guardiola, seated in the front row, was equally warmly received. Said Rummenigge: “I’m convinced we’ll be very successful and enjoy ourselves a lot with Pep.” Another emotional highlight during the 3 1/2 hour event came with the video accompanying Rummenigge’s speech as chairman. The members visibly enjoyed a five minute excerpt from full-length movie “Wembley - Football is coming hoam” documenting the Champions League triumph in May 2013. “Super-Bayern, Super-Bayern” chants filled the Audi Dome, and Arjen Robben’s winning goal was hailed as if it had been scored there and then.

Naturally, the fans played a huge role in the treble triumph, as the board directors readily acknowledged. “At the Super Cup final in Prague our fans put on an unbelievable show, all of it without flares and fireworks,” declared Hoeneß, “I’m always proud when I look around me and see the fans singing and dancing.” Rummenigge praised “our very harmonious relations at the moment. Let’s work together on maintaining that relationship.”

Away from the field of play, the club announced new record turnover of €432.8 million, and the third-highest profit in club history at €14 million. “FC Bayern is in robust good health, squared,”  jested Rummenigge, reflecting on a “flood of records” at the current time. “We’re continuing to play first-class, successful and sometimes spectacular football.” Perhaps, when the club gathers again at the Audi Dome a year from now, the stage might even be a little more crowded.