Munich is a trendy destination for world football’s best and brightest these days, with players such as Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Javi Martinez beating a path to FC Bayern in recent years and high-profile manager Pep Guardiola joining them at Allianz Arena last summer.
That the business and recruitment models employed by the Bundesliga giants continue to deliver such overwhelming success is hardly a surprise, but in the next few days as the winter transfer window draws to a close—and especially during July and August—Bayern Munich will likely face a rigorous test to their resolve.
Record revenues have opened eyes at the club, particularly among the players, and in the remainder of this transfer period and the whole of the next, Bayern’s rivals will look to capitalize on the situation by offering sky-high wages to squad members posturing for a bigger slice of the profit pie.
Already we have seen defender Dante play up a possible move to Manchester United when he told Fox Sports Brasil, via the Mirror, that his decision regarding the Red Devils’ interest would be “sorted out by the end of the month.”
And midfielder Toni Kroos—embroiled in a rather public contract negotiation—could also be on United’s shopping list, according to the Daily Mail.
Naturally, Bayern would prefer to keep all three players, and they certainly don’t want to find themselves establishing a precedent where top-end talent can simply depart when salary demands hit the ceiling.
To that end, the treble winners may well have increased their outlay when it comes to wages, as the consequence of not doing so could be the crumbling of what has been so carefully built over the last decade.
And they can certainly afford it.
As Bayern published on their official website back in November, the 2013 fiscal year saw “record turnover at the club.”
Revenues exceeded €432 million, which put Bayern above Manchester United in the Deloitte Football Money League, as per The Guardian, and profit after tax rose by 30 per cent over the 12 months.
According to The Economist, the club’s commercial revenue (Bayern’s sponsorship stable includes the likes of Audi, Adidas, Deutsche Telekom, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Bwin and Lufthansa, among others) currently exceeds that of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, and finance director Jan-Christian Dreesen has revealed that the members’ club, which owns a controlling stake in the company, boasts cash reserves of €60 million.
Financially, Bayern Munich are on more solid ground than any club, in any sport, anywhere in the world. And during the past few transfer windows, they've flexed their muscles to attract big-name players from big-name clubs.
But can they hold on to them? Can they withstand the pressure of the transfer and wage markets when theirs are the players who are coveted? Will their revenues be re-invested into players they already have, and continued to be spent on squad enhancements when necessary?
The answers to these questions will shape the Bayern Munich of the future.