Bayern Munich: Kahn learns key lessons from chaotic AGM

Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn learnt crucial lessons from tensed AGM in November. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn learnt crucial lessons from tensed AGM in November. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images) /

The open dialogue between the board and club members every year makes Bayern Munich one of the unique and special clubs in Europe. The Bavarian club holds an annual general meeting to discuss sporting and financial issues of the club.

The AGM 2021 didn’t go as per plans as there was discontent amongst club members. They felt their concerns about the Qatar deal fell on deaf ears. What generally is a cordial meeting to discuss various things about the club turned out to be a fierce debate between club members and board members.

The annual general meeting in November was also the first such event for Oliver Kahn as CEO of Die Roten. The former German goalkeeper replaced Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in this position after the latter decided to bring curtains on an elusive career in the administerial role at the club.

In the first-ever AGM, Kahn did learn some crucial lessons. While talking to AZ earlier this month, Kahn admitted that he would be much better prepared for the annual general meeting next year. The former German goalkeeper also admitted that there were already indications that AGM 2021 was going to be a tense affair.

"“Afterwards you are always smarter. Certainly, you could have done one thing or the other differently.”“The omens were not that easy. There were very few members who were ever there at a general meeting. There were a lot of things that had already led to tension beforehand. It can then happen that something like this slips away.”"

The outrage against the board members is not only visible in the AGM. The Bavarian faithful has been campaigning against the club’s ties with Qatar. The defending champions have been working with Qatar Airways since 2018. During the last three years, fans have been holding big banners at Allianz Arena to protest against this association.

Qatar has been involved in a lot of controversies due to its dodgy record with human rights violations, which has led to criticism of its involvement in football. The Gulf country has been heavily criticised for the way they have gone about making infrastructure changes for the World Cup 2022.

The club hierarchy at Bayern has been critical of the state-backed clubs in Europe, such as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. However, signing a lucrative deal with Qatar does lead to double standards from Die Roten since Qatar primarily owns PSG in France. The French club has spent a significant amount of money compared to other top clubs in Europe during the last decade.

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The deal with Qatar Airways is set to expire in 2023. If the board members at Die Roten don’t take swift action or at least announce that they will not renew it, then more AGMs in the future are likely to be tense and chaotic.