FC Bayern Munich Ends Controversial Sponsorship with Qatar Airways

news 01-Jul-2023 Sport

FC Bayern Ends Controversial Qatar Sponsorship

Munich - The controversial sponsorship relationship between FC Bayern Munich and Qatar Airways has come to an end. For five years, the German football record champion promoted the airline from Qatar and received millions of euros as part of this partnership, but also faced substantial criticism. The FC Bayern and the company from the 2022 World Cup host country have now announced that the expiring contract will not be renewed.

After the lucrative collaboration with a platinum partner, speculated to involve annual payments of up to 25 million euros, the reigning champion will have to seek new sources of income. On the other hand, the club is relieved of a major source of controversy. Repeated criticism stemmed from the contentious human rights situation in Qatar. The government of the emirate largely denies these accusations.

During matches at the Allianz Arena, fans expressed their dissatisfaction with banners, and heated debates arose during the annual general meetings. The conflict escalated at the 2021 members' meeting, leading to disturbances. Honorary president Uli Hoeneß even referred to it as "the worst event I have ever experienced at FC Bayern." The initial reactions from member circles have been positive following the end of the sponsorship relationship. Critics satisfied

One prominent critic, who publicly voiced his concerns during the annual general meetings, is Michael Ott. The 30-year-old lawyer welcomed the termination of the partnership. "This shows me that fans can have an influence when they know how to use their resources. It's a wonderful sign for sports, FC Bayern, and us fans," Ott said to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "I'm very happy, even though it came unexpectedly. The signs in the last few days and weeks seemed to indicate something else." President Herbert Hainer had recently stated that they were engaged in discussions.

During the turbulent FC Bayern general meeting in the fall of 2021, Ott had intended to submit a spontaneous motion to vote on Munich's sponsorship with Qatar Airways. However, the memorable meeting did not allow for it. He spoke up again during the 2022 meeting and later faced verbal attacks from Hoeneß.

The fan association Club Nr. 12 also emphasized the opportunity for participation from the stands. "Contrary to the often expressed opinion that criticism and statements from fans would achieve nothing, the discussion about the sponsor shows that something can be accomplished when fans and members of clubs clearly articulate their opinion and seek direct dialogue with the club," said spokesperson Alexander Salzweger to Spox and Goal. "Today is not a day for triumphal cries, but simply a good day for FC Bayern and its fans."

The collaboration between FC Bayern and Qatar has existed for a long time. Since 2011, the Munich team has been traveling to Doha for their winter training camp, and later they entered into a partnership with Hamad International Airport. The airline became a sponsor in 2018, and its logo has been displayed on the sleeve of the jersey. The airline logo was already absent during the presentation of the new kit last month. At that time, the club held discussions with the company, considering whether they could achieve further collaboration that would meet both their economic goals and social responsibility.

"FC Bayern Munich and Qatar Airways have worked together successfully and learned from each other," said the new Munich CEO, Jan-Christian Dreesen, in the statement released on Wednesday. It was noted that the collaboration is ending amicably.

Sleeve Sponsorship Open

"The connections that FC Bayern has been able to establish with its fans in the Arab world through Qatar Airways will remain. Both partners have actively promoted an exchange between cultures," the statement read. "It has always been the goal of FC Bayern and Qatar Airways to connect people through football, including women's football. Through trusting and open dialogue, friendships have been formed that will continue to exist." Was the dismissal of Kahn and Salihamidžić the right decision?

Now, the Munich club not only has to determine who the future sleeve sponsor will be, but also address questions such as which airline the team will travel with and whether they will continue to go to Doha in winter. "It would be welcome if the club continues the ongoing dialogue in Qatar during the training camps of the men's and women's teams with on-site activities," Ott said.

Related Post

Polular post