President Herbert Hainer: 'FC Bayern has foundations that are exemplary across Europe'
The FC Bayern München eV annual general meeting takes place at the Audi Dome on Thursday. In an interview with fcbayern.com , club president Herbert Hainer spoke about how the event will work and some of the issues that will be raised.
Interview with Herbert Hainer
Mr Hainer, the FC Bayern München eV annual general meeting is on Thursday at the Audi Dome. Will it still be able to take place in view of the latest COVID-19 developments?
"Yes, even though organising it has been a huge challenge this year. There are basically new measures every day that we always have to consider in planning. As always, we will strictly adhere to all guidelines of the health authorities and government at this event because we want to implement everything to protect the health of the participants. That is and remains the top priority. That means we are unfortunately only allowed a maximum attendance of around 1,700 at this AGM."
How will the event proceed with regards to hygiene measures?
"The event is planned according to the requirements of the authorities within the framework of the 2G Plus rule, with distancing rules, contract tracing and masks mandatory in all seats. We as FC Bayern wish we could hold our AGM in the same way we did before the pandemic, but in these times everyone has to consider the circumstances and be reasonable. The AGM is an important part of our club life, and we were very sorry to have to cancel it last year due to COVID. That's why we are pleased that it's possible this year, albeit under COVID conditions, but one simply has to have understanding in these times."
It will be your first AGM as president. How would you sum up the last two years?
"Of course, these two years were significantly shaped by COVID. The pandemic will unfortunately continue to occupy society as a whole and FC Bayern for some time to come. Despite all these enormously unpredictable challenges, we as a club can say that we have come through these difficult times well so far. The sporting side goes without saying, where we have had the most successful period in our club's history, not least with the incredible six trophies in 2020. And we can be extremely satisfied across the club because our FC Bayern Women have done an outstanding job by winning the league and reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, as have our basketball players with their historic progress into Europe's elite and the cup victory. Economically, we have had to balance massive revenue losses overall but have still achieved a positive result in both of these years, which have been battered by COVID. We are generally a healthy club and have foundations for overcoming crises that are exemplary across Europe. FC Bayern has also cut a very good figure socially during this pandemic. We have been able to help people and institutions in need with many measures."
What will be the focus of the event?
"Together with our fans, we will once again look back on our extremely successful and eventful two years, but at the same time we will of course look forward and address what is necessary for FC Bayern to keep setting standards at the top of world football. In addition, we will present our members with an amendment to the Articles of Association for a vote, which we have already explained in detail in a 40-page supplement in the November issue of members' magazine '51', so that everyone understand why this is important to us."
What are the core contents of the amendment to the Articles of Association?
"The statutes of our 17 founding members do not require any far-reaching changes. What has existed as the statutes of our club for over 120 years will certainly continue to function for the next 120 years. But we want to modernise it because we have to adapt the statutes to the growth of our club over time. After all, it makes a difference whether you have 300 or 300,000 members. We also want to make it even clearer in future in the text of the statutes what values our club stands for, in particular for tolerance, respect, openness to the world, social responsibility, acting as a role model and standing up against all forms of extremism and discrimination, be it because of gender, sexual orientation or ethnic reasons. A separate paragraph for child protection was also very important to us all. As a matter of course, it was added that our club is committed to respecting all internationally recognised human rights -- which was, however, already a direct part of our statutes via the German FA statutes."
How will the issue of Qatar be viewed, which is increasingly in the public eye?
"This is certainly a complex issue that will again be discussed more intensely in the run-up to the AGM. Generally speaking, we are not opposed to an exchange with facts and factual arguments, which may of course also be critical. However, it's important to us that form is always maintained. As a club, we can tolerate controversy. It's part of the discourse and part of the life of the club in general."
When you took office, you said you wanted to be president for everyone, not just the professional footballers. How has FC Bayern club life been overall in the past two years?
"On behalf of the whole of FC Bayern, I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to our many volunteers and, in general, everyone who is involved across our departments. As president, it's important to me that our AGM also shines a light on those who are otherwise not in the spotlight. FC Bayern is more than just the men's football team. There are our basketball players, our amateur footballers, the FC Bayern Women have won leagues and cups in recent years. And beyond that, all our popular sports are extremely important because FC Bayern therefore offers a home to all people interested in sport. A club must always be able to do that, even a club as big as FC Bayern. Our amateur athletes have had and continue to have an incredibly hard time in this pandemic, so they absolutely deserve to be in the spotlight this evening as well. Our AGM is supposed to be an event for the whole FC Bayern family, so we are happy about everyone who comes -- within the pandemic restraints, of course."
Click here for information on admission to this year's AGM: