Bavaria Munich Terminates Multi-Million Sponsorship Deal with Qatar Airways
FC Bayern Munich and Qatar Airways are ending their sponsorship agreement following protests by fans of Germany's wealthiest football club, as reported by Bloomberg.
"FC Bayern Munich and Qatar Airways have had a highly successful partnership since 2018. During this period, FC Bayern won the Champions League, and Qatar Airways was awarded 'World's Best Airline.' Both sides were united by a shared understanding of quality, and both sides brought people together.
The contract between FC Bayern and Qatar Airways expires by mutual agreement on June 30, 2023, after five exciting years of collaboration.
The ties that FC Bayern has built with its fans in the Arab world through Qatar Airways will be maintained. Both partners actively contributed to cultural exchanges. FC Bayern and Qatar Airways have always aimed to unite people through football, including women's football. Trustful and open exchanges have created a friendship that will endure," stated a joint statement by the football club and the airline.
The controversial partnership between FC Bayern and Qatar Airways officially comes to an end amicably. In fact, representatives of the Munich club wanted to extend the multi-million deal, but Qatar did not.
The contract is valued at approximately £21 million per year, according to DailyMail. Bloomberg reports the contract value at around €20 million (£17 million) per year. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung website estimates the contract at €25 million (£21.6 million).
Bayern fans have expressed opposition to the brand in recent years due to concerns about human rights in Qatar and the treatment of migrant workers ahead of the 2022 World Cup in the Persian Gulf country.
Hundreds of supporters booed Bayern's management, including former CEO Oliver Kahn, at the club's annual general meeting in 2021 after they refused to put the deal with Qatar Airways to a vote.
German football has been exploring ways to best manage the Bundesliga. The German Professional Football League (DFL) in May failed to secure sufficient club support for its plan to raise €2 billion (£1.7 billion) by selling Bundesliga media rights to private investors. Interested parties included CVC Capital Partners, Blackstone Inc., and Advent International.
The CEO of FC Bayern Munich noted that the football club and Qatar Airways had worked successfully together, learning from each other. He expressed gratitude to Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways.