Bayern Munich are falling behind their Champions League rivals and would welcome the abolition of Germany’s ’50+1′ rules on club ownership, according to Uli Hoeness.
Honorary president Hoeness made the declaration on Thursday, in the hope the Deutsche Fußball Liga could relax its tight regulations.
The rule is designed to ensure club members hold 50 per cent of shares, plus one share, to stay in majority control.
There are exceptions, with Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg having been bankrolled by pharmaceutical giants Bayer and vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen, while Red Bull-owned RB Leipzig found a loophole to acquire the club in 2009, but the 50+1 guideline is otherwise strictly enforced.
Despite regularly outspending their domestic rivals, Bayern might cast an envious eye at clubs from other countries with their wealthy owners.
And while the Bundesliga champions have many routes to bringing in funds, Hoeness feels something needs to change.
The perception is that investors will only come in with game-changing money if they can take control of decisions, which the present rules prevent.
“We would be totally in favour of the 50+1 rule falling because we are falling behind internationally,” said Hoeness. “We also have to give the smaller clubs opportunities to be competitive. I am in favour of each club making their own decisions.”
The 71-year-old – a former player, general manager and president of Bayern – was speaking at an event staged by Hannover’s Neue Presse.
Bayern won 1-0 at Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday in the last-16 stage of the Champions League, snatching the first-leg advantage against the Qatari-owned French giants. It was a repeat scoreline from their meeting with PSG in the 2019-20 final.
The perfect Valentine’s Day #MiaSanMia #PSGFCB pic.twitter.com/ogJC8fgm06
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) February 14, 2023
PSG’s heavy investment means they can name an all-star front three of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, when all are fit.
There is also reportedly strong Qatari interest in taking a major stake in Manchester United, while Newcastle United have big-spending Saudi owners and could soon be major players in the Champions League.
In contrast, Bayern have recently cast doubt on whether they will have sufficient funds to turn Joao Cancelo’s loan from Manchester City into a permanent deal at the end of the season.
Hoeness pinpointed the Parisians as an example of a team with spending power that Bayern cannot match.
While he may want Bayern to be on more of a level playing field, it was a thrill this week for the German giants to take PSG’s scalp.
“For comparison: Paris have €750million in personnel costs,” Hoeness claimed. “But I have to say, I’m excited about winning against them. The game proved that money doesn’t always score goals.”
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