Rummenigge reflects on 'good year'
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced exclusively positive news to the 1,500 members present at the 2017 FC Bayern München eV Annual General Meeting at the Audi Dome. "For FC Bayern, to state this clearly up front, it was a good year," the FC Bayern München AG chairman said at the start of his speech.
The chief footballing success was a fifth consecutive German championship title. "It seems to me that's almost a record for all time," the visibly satisfied Rummenigge said, before adding a caveat: "Although perhaps we'll add a sixth this season." In financial terms, the 2016/17 fiscal year also yielded "new records. Thanks to these figures we're in the same league as Real, Barca and Man United, not only in footballing terms but also financially. Continuity in the fields of sport and finance is an essential precondition for sustained success. All of us here can be proud of that!"
Praise and pledges for Salihamidzic
In this context, the chairman took the opportunity to bid farewell to the players who left the club last year after playing a crucial role in these successes. In particular, the former world-class striker thanked Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, who have both retired, and Holger Badstuber, who moved to VfB Stuttgart. "They should know the door is always open at FC Bayern!"
The 62-year-old then turned to the present and the future, opening this passage of his speech with yet more upbeat news: "We're in a good position in all three competitions. It's all wonderful." Rummenigge then addressed Hasan Salihamidzic, who was appointed sporting director in the summer of 2017. "Hasan is committed, organised, direct and busy as a bee. He has ideas and clear objectives, he's assertive and can also be a tough negotiator," Rummenigge said, praising the former midfielder for his efforts so far and declaring "complete faith" in the Bosnian.
„"Unswervingly solid and serious"”
The members demonstrated their agreement with a loud and long round of applause when Salihamidzic was introduced at the start of the meeting. One of the sporting director's toughest tasks, Rummenigge said, would be successful activity in the transfer market, although "the summer 2017 transfer window has set challenges for the whole of football."
Rummenigge insisted FCB will not be drawn into paying sometimes astronomical fees. "As before, FC Bayern München will unswervingly remain solid and serious. We will stick to our line, but we will also move on and develop," he promised, issuing an appeal for an overhaul of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules. In terms of development, Rummenigge described the new FC Bayern Campus as "an important building block for the future of our club," and declared "great pride" in the Allianz Arena.
Bavarian and cosmopolitan
The record champions will continue to invest in the stadium in Fröttmaning, liaising with the fan dialogue working group to make the Arena "more FC Bayern-like". The chairman also stated that the club intends to operate "in a rational and exemplary manner in energy resource management." To this end, the stadium will switch to a more eco-friendly reusable drinks container system in summer 2018.
At the end of his speech Rummenigge looked ahead to the new year and FC Bayern's ongoing internationalisation drive. "There can be no alternative," he said. Bayern will again visit the USA next summer, "but it'll be a relatively short tour lasting around a week. We'll spend 50 weeks of 2018 in Germany and two weeks abroad. We're a Bavarian club and remain a club from Munich, but we're also cosmopolitan with a growing international fan base."