Club members debate with Uli Hoeneß and Walter Mennekes
For the second time this season, the FC Bayern München eV executive committee invited club members to the Allianz Arena for an exchange of ideas. During two hours of eager discussion in the presenter box before the home game against FSV Mainz 05 on Sunday, ten members and their companions were able to put forward six topics. In addition to President Uli Hoeneß and Deputy Vice President Walter Mennekes, Jochen Sauer (Head of FC Bayern Campus), Stefan Mennerich (Director Media, Digital and Communication), Dr. Michael Gerlinger (Director Law, Human Resources and Institutional Relations) and Benjamin Folkmann (Club Secretary FC Bayern München eV) took part in the discussion and assisted the committee as experts in their respective fields.
The topics ranged from the music programme at home matches in the Allianz Arena to digital communication with members and fans, the media image of players and the club, the impending generational change at FC Bayern and the black-market trading of tickets on online platforms. The "black market" topic in particular caused some amazement among the participants of the discussion when Dr. Gerlinger presented some impressive figures. In 2018, around 20,700 cases of tickets sold via eBay were pursued and contractual penalties amounting to 65,700 euros were collected, with the entire amount being donated to the FC Bayern Hilfe eV. charity.
Campus manager Jochen Sauer also provided an exciting insight into the day-to-day work at the FC Bayern junior performance centre on Ingolstädter Straße. Around 220 players are currently active in ten teams from the Under-9s to the Under-19s in the north of Munich. 38 of them - nine of whom come from abroad - are accommodated in the FC Bayern academy. 120 players live in the greater Munich area, and 60 from the Free State of Bavaria are transported daily by shuttle bus to the FC Bayern campus and back home. Sauer explained the shuttle tours: "We've set ourselves a limit of a maximum driving time of 70 to 80 minutes one-way. Anything further away from Munich is unreasonable for the boys. Then we'd rather get them all into our academy."
The subject of "young fans" proved to be an emotional one. Peter Hesz, a club member from Munich lamented the fact that it's no longer possible for youth teams to visit FC Bayern home games together, as they did when the team played at the Olympic Stadium. "In the past, we gave away 1,500 tickets to youth teams for every match in the Olympic Stadium, which is no longer doable today," Hoeneß explained. Nevertheless, the president wants to make it easier for young people to buy tickets in the future. "We want FC Bayern to remain family-friendly, so the next generation is very important to us."