Fans create awkward moment at annual general meeting

Fans create awkward moment at annual general meeting

November 12, 2023, Bavaria, Munich: Football: Bundesliga, annual general meeting of FC Bayern Munich.  Bavaria's honorary president Uli Hoeneß attends the annual general meeting.  Photo: Angelika Warmuth/dpa +++ dp ...

The annual general meeting took place on Sunday at FC Bayern, at which Uli Hoeneß was also present. Image: dpa/Angelika Warmuth


November 13, 2023, 12:00 pmNovember 13, 2023, 12:03 pm

Sven Fröhlich

FC Bayern’s annual general meeting reliably delivers escalations of varying degrees. “The worst event I have ever experienced at FC Bayern” Uli Hoeneß described the 2021 reunion. Several members booed and shouted, chanting “We are the fans you don’t want.” The trigger was the controversial cooperation with Qatar.

Michael Ott, the Bayern player who became legendary thanks to the “Qatar proposal”, appeared in front of the microphone again this year. The state of the Arabian desert was no longer a problem; cooperation with Qatar Airways ended in the summer. There were still reasons for criticism. This time it was about Rwanda, who FC Bayern have been promoting ever since. The human rights situation is also problematic.

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“Rwanda is not a country for which a perfect global tourism campaign can be carried out”Ott said from the pulpit. “Whoever thought that after the end of Qatar’s sponsorship there would be a change of thinking in the club’s management was wrong.” It’s still just about money, human rights don’t matter, criticized Ott: “We have behaved in a similarly morally reprehensible manner in recent years. This is shameful.”

FC Bayern: Direct criticism of Uli Hoeneß

Michael Ott then addressed honorary president Uli Hoeneß, who had already described his appearance as “embarrassing” last year. “This is the Bayern Munich football club and not the general assembly of Amnesty International”Hoeneß said at the time, after Ott once again criticized cooperation with Qatar.

November 12, 2023, football 1st Bundesliga 2023/2024, FC Bayern Munich, annual general meeting 2023 in the Rudi Sedlmayer Hall AUDI Dome Munich.  Speech by club member Michael Ott on the change of...

Bayern member Michael Ott also spoke at this year’s Annual General Meeting.Image: iMAGO/ MIS

“Mr. Hoeneß,” said Ott this time, referring to this, “if you want human rights to no longer be discussed at the Annual General Assembly in the future, I suggest that you, in the supervisory board of the General Assembly, ensure that no Let more deals be concluded with these rogue states.” Then we can talk about football again.

Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen sided with Hoeneß, responding that the cooperation with Rwanda had “nothing to do with the partnership with Qatar Airways”. Since the genocide, Rwanda has become a more stable country and cooperation has been structured into two aspects: “supporting the development of children’s and youth football. And the second leg is sponsorship”.

Remarkable applause for the Bayern professional

Overall, the annual general meeting was much more harmonious compared to previous editions. What caught our attention was who at FC Bayern received the most euphoric tribute from the members: Sven Ulreich, of all people, received the loudest and longest applause in his absence. Not Harry Kane or Jamal Musiala.

Munich, Germany October 28, 2023: Football, men's, Bundesliga, season 2023/2024, FC Bayern Munich - SV Darmstadt 98, Allianz Arena Sven Ulreich FC Bayern Munich on his way to the bench, ...

Sven Ulreich was wildly celebrated by Bayern fans. Image: imago/ulrich wagner

When Jan-Christian Dreesen spoke about Manuel Neuer’s return, he was full of praise for his replacement, Ulreich. A reaction that was also mirrored by the public.

After Manuel Neuer’s injury in December last year, Gladbach’s Yann Sommer was the first to be signed, with Ulreich coming in without any airs. Sommer left the club in the summer and Ulreich subsequently replaced him impressively. When Neuer returned from injury two weeks ago, Ulreich again settled for second place – again quietly.

Now, FC Bayern would like to extend the 35-year-old’s contract, which expires in the summer of next year. “I hope he heard that”Dreesen said with a smile to the thunderous applause. “Maybe it will be easier for him to sign his new contract.”

The 2022 Qatar World Cup has been heavily criticized due to the human rights situation. One would think it is a good thing that the European Championships will be held in Germany next year. But here too there are complaints that Sylvia Schenk of Transparency International clearly addresses.

Watson: Ms. Schenk, you are the coordinator of the Euro 2024 stakeholder initiative. For many, this may be an enigmatic term. What are you doing exactly?

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