Rummenigge: FCB has never been more solid

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On its 115^th^ anniversary, FC Bayern has every reason to be proud as the club looks back on its eventful history. Writing in today's edition of club journal Bayern Magazin, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge strongly echoed that theme of pride. reprints the FCB chairman's notes and column from the magazine, in which he talks about the way the record German champions have developed but also notes the "big challenges" facing the club: "FC Bayern must continue to excite the people in Munich, but in Beijing as well."

Greeting from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Dear FC Bayern Munich members and fans!

Today we can wish ourselves a happy anniversary: Happy Birthday, alles Gute, FC Bayern! Exactly 115 years ago, on February 27, 1900 in the Schwabing café Gisela, 11 men -- including our first president Franz John -- founded FC Bayern. Our founding members could never have imagined what would become of their small football club over a century later.

I believe one can say, for its 115 years FC Bayern is extremely robust and in the very best shape. It has grown into a global brand, an export product par excellence. Today, any conversation about the Free State of Bavaria overseas always includes three phrases: Oktoberfest, Neuschwanstein Castle -- and Bayern Munich. Globally speaking, the two most famous rulers of Bavaria were without a doubt King Ludwig and his descendant, Kaiser Franz.

115 years of FC Bayern -- a moving and successful history which we can be proud to celebrate. But we aren't just proud of our trophies. We're also proud of how this club has been able to align success with social engagement and a commitment to help those in need.

Then there's the famous slogan Mia san mia . As a Westphalian, I know that this phrase is, to a certain extent, regarded as arrogant in the rest of Germany. Mia san mia is not arrogant. Mia san mia means: we stick together, we stand for our values, we're proud of our successes, of the Bavarian way of life. We do not place ourselves above others.

I'm often asked whether this is a golden age in FC Bayern's history. But this question cannot be answered. To speak of the best FC Bayern of all time would be presumptuous towards the great teams of the past. Who could claim, in all seriousness, to play better than a team with Sepp Maier, Katsche Schwarzenbeck, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller? Any comparison would fall short.

But I believe we're experiencing at the moment the most stable FC Bayern of all time. Over the last couple of years we've won every title possible in football. We have an extremely good and likeable team. And on the bench sits the coach, for whom top clubs around the world envy us -- just as much as our exceedingly solid financially situation that we have worked hard for with serious economic management.

And we play in a debt-free stadium, owned by the club itself, in one of the most beautiful arenas in the world. Over the past ten years, the Allianz Arena has become a business card for our club. Our stadium, lit up in red -- whoever sees this picture knows immediately whose home it is. This entire configuration, in which everything fits so ideally together, has certainly not previously existed in FC Bayern Munich's 115-year history.

But we know that satisfaction means stagnation. We now have to go the next steps. There are still clubs around the world who I look at with great respect -- above all Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. We have to benchmark ourselves against them in a global competition -- on the pitch, but off it as well. The balancing act between tradition and culture on the one hand and the development of new business fields on the other which we have thus far mastered remains our great challenge. FC Bayern must continue to excite the people in Munich, but in Beijing as well.

Thanks to the quality of our staff we are extremely well-positioned to do so. FC Bayern has two fantastic teams -- the players, who are on the pitch, and the staff, who work for our success behind the scenes every day. It is with this team that we can look forward to the 120th and 125th anniversaries of our club. Mia san mia!

Cordially yours,

*Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
*FC Bayern München AG chairman