By coming with their first team, Bayern Munich want to show India that they are a club that can be counted upon. “India is an interesting market and we would like to show that we are a reliable team. That’s why we are bringing all our top stars to play there,” Christian Nerlinger, Bayern’s sports director, told HT here on Thursday.
He was speaking in the context of the English clubs having an advantage in India because of better television coverage of the Premier League. That apart, the club sees next Tuesday’s Audi Football Summit, where Bayern play India in New Delhi, as part of preparation for the second phase of a season that ends with the Champions League final at their home ground in May.
“We will be fielding our strongest squad in India because in two weeks the Bundesliga starts,” he said.
Like most of the club’s top brass, Nerlinger, 38, has lived the childhood dream of being an ex-Bayern and Germany player. That he has also has a degree in international business though does make the former midfielder a little different.
“I had done my school seriously so when, frustrated by injuries, I had to close my football chapter, I returned to studying. When I was at the university, Bayern called and one thing led to another and here I am looking after the first team, youth academy and scouting projects and everything related to football,” he said. It’s a role that used to be Uli Hoeness’ before the 1974 World Cup winner became Bayern president.
Nerlinger said with the UEFA implementing Financial Fairplay from 2013 — a rule that essentially curbs clubs from spending more than they earn — the future’s good for German clubs, most of whom balance books well.
Bayern, for instance, have been posting profits for the past 18 years. “That (financial fairplay) should be a big advantage in the medium term for German clubs and make the Bundesliga an interesting product. We don’t have to change our philosophy. In five years for instance, the Allianz Arena (Bayern’s 69,000-seater home ground) would be free of debt,” he said.