'FC Bayern is in wonderful condition'
FC Bayern looked back on a greatly satisfying year at the 2017 Annual General Meeting: the club is in excellent condition in terms of sports, more successful than ever in terms of finances and has more members than any other club. "FC Bayern is once again in wonderful condition, everything's beautiful," a pleased president Uli Hoeneß said in front of some 1,500 members present at the Audi Dome.
Hoeneß' satisfaction mainly rests on the direction the footballers have taken over the last six weeks since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Carlo Ancelotti, who parted company with FCB following the 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League group stage. "It was the night in Paris that woke up this club," stressed Hoeneß. "On the same night the entire board set the course for what we've seen over the last few weeks."
Change of atmosphere at the club
Hoeneß called Heynckes' return to the dugout "a blessing. We've contested nine matches since then and won all of them." Hoeneß described "a completely different spirit, a change of atmosphere," stressing the role of sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. "He's played a major part in these developments," the president said in praise of the former Bayern pro, who "contributed significantly to this change of atmosphere at the club with his constantly good mood, his commitment and his readiness to be there for the club day and night."
Another positive aspect of the night in Paris was that "Karl-Heinz and I have got together again." After his time in prison and his return as president "it wasn't so easy," Hoeneß admitted. "But that night and the following weeks have made us cooperate very closely again. It's fun to work together, and we're inseparable again." Together, Hoeneß and Rummenigge aim to "set the right course so that this club keeps flourishing."
Basketballers at the top of the table
The pros of tomorrow, who learn the trade at the FC Bayern Campus, which was inaugurated this summer, are the foundation of a healthy future for FC Bayern, according to Hoeneß. "We can be proud of it," he said, thanking his predecessor Karl Hofpner and the other people in charge for their work. "The foundations have been laid, and now we have to mould legs," said Hoeneß, who is confident: "We're on the right track."
Hoeneß' second great passion beside the footballers are the basketballers, who currently top the BBL table. "We can be very proud that apart from football we have a basketball team in Munich who're absolutely capable of winning the German championship," said the 65-year-old, encouraging everyone to watch a match at the Audi Dome. "It's really fun. Apart from football it's an attraction to which you should treat yourself."
Still the world's biggest sports club
The basketballers are expected to contest their matches at a new facility from 2020 or 2021. The club have held "positive and constructive talks" with the Munich city authorities, declared Hoeneß. The new ice hockey and basketball arena will be built to replace the Radstadion. It will have a capacity of 10,000 or 11,000 and will be "one of the most modern arenas in the world in this regard."
Hoeneß also talked about the recent day of honours, when longstanding FC Bayern members were appreciated for their loyalty to the club. Richard Ortner, FC Bayern member number one, who was present at the Audi Dome, was honoured for his 80-year membership. Two members were honoured for 70 years of membership, and 12 members were appointed as honorary members for 60 years of membership. The figure of 290,000 members confirms FC Bayern's position as the world's biggest sports club.
Hoeneß concluded his address with a heartfelt wish: "You have to learn to be satisfied sometimes. I stand here as FC Bayern president today, and I'm completely satisfied. Everyone knows my motto is 'Bayern first' in terms of football and sport. But sometimes I think, if we had a bit less success in sport but more peace in Syria, that wouldn't be so bad either."