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Boom rolls on

FCB now world’s biggest club by membership

“I’ve said I was hopeful we’d soon be the world’s biggest sports club. We’ve hit that target,” declared FCB President Karl Hopfner as he announced the current total of 251,315 members to loud applause from the 2,421 members in attendance for Friday evening’s Annual General Meeting at the Audi Dome in Munich. This “splendid total” means Germany’s biggest club has overtaken previous leaders Benfica of Lisbon (235,000 members). Barcelona are third in the ranking with 177,246 members.

In terms of official fan clubs, the latest total of 3,774 registered clubs with 293,607 members is also a new record. The FCB KidsClub has proved a rousing success too, with 32,249 six to 12-year-old members.

The members' club FC Bayern München eV, which holds a controlling stake in the professional football company and is responsible for the club's amateur and other sporting activities, is also in fine shape according to senior vice-president Rudolf Schels. In the fiscal year from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 the club achieved a surplus of €10.4 million, an increase of 80 percent on the previous year. Capital reserves rose to a remarkable €70.433 million.

Championships and youth development

FCB eV has had a good sporting year too, especially following a “rapid ascent” by the basketball section, “and we can be proud of the German championship triumph as the highlight so far,” Schels commented. “Yet again it shows that when FC Bayern takes something on, we really go for it!”

Members’ club deputy vice president Prof Dr Dieter Mayer reported on the FC Bayern eV amateur sections: veterans’ football, refereeing, handball, sports skittles, table tennis and chess. Mayer stressed the key role of youth development: “FC Bayern has great community responsibility and must be a focal point for all young people.” Mayer singled out the table tennis section, which is currently reorganising its youth programmes and establishing more professional structures.

Mayer noted a long list of sporting successes: the football veterans won 12 of a possible 14 trophies last season; the number of elite referees rose by 40 percent; and the chess section performed with distinction at the German speed chess championships. “Passion, enthusiasm, fun, team spirit and devotion to the club are not just the preserve of our professionals, but also our amateurs,” Mayer concluded.