How big the influence of the automotive industry on the FC Bayern is, was to observe on a Friday afternoon this summer. All club greats had met in the museum in their own arena to open a special exhibition about their beloved four-time coach Jupp Heynckes.
The honoree initially kept in the background, and at this time was another of the main actor: Martin Winterkorn, once CEO of Volkswagen, still supervisory board of FC Bayern. Hugs, questions about health. Winterkorn, who had appeared in the Trachtenjanker to celebrate the day, smiled. Diesel scandal? At least at Bayern, which likes to call itself a family-run club, Winterkorn belongs to it.
In recent years, the car manufacturer and the football club have approached
If this Friday, the annual general meeting of the association is pending, it is also about the biggest legacy Winterkorns for Bayern, at least in the background. Since 2011, Audi holds 8.33 percent of the shares of FC Bayern, acquired for 90 million euros. The Volkswagen subsidiary pays a low double-digit million amount to the club every year, the contract runs until 2025. However, the leadership of President Uli Hoeneß at FC Bayern is hoping for more support (read: money). She is concerned that Audi is questioning all sorts of ad spending due to the diesel scandal. Therefore, they have worked in association with other scenarios. An exploration is said to have revealed: BMW has given up the distanced attitude to football under the leadership of boss Harald Krüger, which Kruger’s predecessor Norbert Reithofer still used.
Now: Bayern and BMW, that fits perfectly. In recent years, the car manufacturer and the football club have come closer, now there should have been talks again – in the mutual interest. From BMW circles is to hear, one would be willing to pay about twice the Audi sum.
So BMW wants something from Audi. And at the same time Audi – or the parent company Volkswagen – wants something from BMW, namely a top manager: Markus Duesmann, previously BMW purchasing director. CEO Herbert Diess wants to get that into his group, preferably as head of Audi. In July, Duesmann has submitted his dismissal to BMW, but his contract runs until summer 2019, and then applies a one-year ban.
Commitment that is difficult to communicate to employees
Creative people, probably in Wolfsburg, therefore conceived the idea to bring together the football and the car industry, the plan was: BMW will take over the AG shares and may very soon be jersey sponsor of FC Bayern – and releases Duesmann prematurely, so the whole can soon start with the competition. According to SZ information, Diess had indicated a few weeks ago that he was ready for this very plan, yes, that he even wanted it
For a while it almost seemed like this complex deal could work out. But BMW is not there, they do not want a „horse trade“, you can hear from there now. Especially since BMW supervisory board boss Reithofer according to reports vehemently against a release of Duesmann locks. Also at BMW is a family principle: Who wants to compete, has hurt something like the honor and is certainly not supported. It may also play a role, that BMW is currently on austerity – such a commitment would be difficult to convey the employees.
So the situation is now apparently this: At BMW states that sooner or later you come together with the FCB. Duesmann meanwhile sits two years on the bench. The VW Group is putting pressure on management by presumably appointing a manager from its own ranks to head Audi, Bram Schot. And Diess can be in December as successor to the former Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler to the Supervisory Board of FC Bayern. It is not known that he is interested in football. But the club’s lodge is good enough to negotiate complex deals.