New deal will boost Bayern's success, say rivals
12 February 2014, 17:54
Berlin - With Bayern Munich to receive 110 million euros (US$150m) from new sponsors Allianz, the European champions' Bundesliga rivals are predicting the gap in the league table will only increase.
Bayern reaped the financial rewards of becoming the first German team to win the treble of Champions League, Cup and Bundesliga titles last season with record turnover of 432.8 million euros.
And with more cash now set to flow into the Bavarian giant's coffers, their rivals are predicting more on-field success with Pep Guardiola's team currently on a record 45-match unbeaten league run.
"This development was to be expected. I can only congratulate Bayern on this bit of business. The gap with the rest of the league will, of course, get a bit bigger," Borussia Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told German daily Bild.
Bayern are 13 points clear in the Bundesliga and are at Premier League side Arsenal in the last 16, first-leg of the Champions League next Wednesday while they face Hamburg in Wednesday's German Cup quarter-finals.
Allianz, a Munich-based multinational financial services company, has become Bayern's third major shareholder along with sportswear giants Adidas and car manufacturers Audi.
The trio of main sponsors each now have an 8.33 percent stake in the European champions.
Allianz's deal includes a sponsorship contract until 2023 and Bayern's stadium, the Allianz Arena, will keep it's name until at least 2031.
The 110 million euros will not be invested in fresh talent for Guardiola's star-studded squad, but will be used to pay off the remaining debt, reported to be around 100 million euros, on the Allianz Arena, which was finished in 2005.
"We are investing in stones, not in legs, that is our primary goal," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Bayern make around two million euros for each sold-out home match and there are plans in 2015 to move the youth-team centre to new premises near the Allianz Arena in north Munich.
With their debts paid off, Bayern will be able to use the freed up cash on the transfer market to attract more stars to Munich.