The honorary president of Bayern Munich, Uli Hoeness, expressed his shock after the chaos that occurred during the annual general assembly of the team, after his supporters rebelled in protest against a Qatari sponsorship deal.
“This is the worst event I’ve attended at Bayern Munich,” said an angry Hoeness after the five-hour meeting. “I am ashamed.”
A group of Bavarian giant fans put pressure on the club to end a sponsorship deal with state-owned Qatar Airways, which amounted to about 20 million euros annually, according to media reports.
The company’s logo appears on the sleeves of the German champion’s jerseys.
This group is demanding, club president Herbert Hainer, and CEO Oliver Kahn, to end the relationship when the contract expires in the year 2023, due to accusations against Qatar of exploiting foreign workers, especially those working in facilities and stadiums for the World Cup hosted by the Gulf emirate next November, These allegations are denied by Qatar.
During Thursday’s general assembly meeting, a group of about 800 members angrily chanted “Heiner out!” and “We’re the fans you don’t want them!”, after the club rejected a proposal to allow members to vote on the Qatar sponsorship deal.
Earlier on Thursday, a regional court in Munich ruled that Bayern “is not obligated to hold further discussions regarding the sponsorship with Qatar Airways”, and club officials referred to the legal ruling during the AGM.
In the face of confrontation with their supporters, Bayern officials insist there are better ways to make an impact than simply canceling the sponsorship deal or boycott.
“I remain firmly convinced that dialogue is the best way to bridge views,” Hainer told the general assembly, adding that the club had “in no way decided to extend” the sponsorship deal, but insisted that it would look into the contract.