BERLIN – Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the German champions would never spend anywhere near the €222 million (about R3.53 billion) that Paris Saint-Germain paid for Brazilian forward Neymar this month, saying he would prefer a stadium with that money.
Rummenigge, who also heads the Europe’s clubs association (ECA), said more “rationality” was required as transfer costs spiralled out of control.
“During the Neymar transfer, I asked myself the question, ‘What would be more important: Neymar or the Allianz Arena?’,” Rummenigge told Sport Bild magazine on Wednesday.
“I have to say clearly that I prefer having the Allianz Arena, which is also more important. We as Bayern Munich must have a different philosophy,” Rummenigge said. “Overall, the Neymar transfer could cost even more than the arena.”
Bayern took out a €346 million loan in 2005 to build their new stadium on the outskirts of the city, and paid off the 25-year loan 16 years early in 2014.
Bayern’s own transfer record was set in June when the Bavarians paid €41.5 million to sign France international Corentin Tolisso.
“We do not want to do this and we cannot do this (spending like PSG). And that is fine. That is also seen as the right way by the public and our fans,” Rummenigge said.
The French club paid the record fee earlier this month to lure the talented 25-year-old Neymar from Barcelona.
The transfer doubles the previous world-record fee paid when Paul Pogba moved last August from Juventus to Manchester United for €105m.
“Fifa, Uefa, the ECA, leagues and the players union FIFpro should discuss this,” Rummenigge said.
“I think we should all sit at the table, that would be my proposal. We could find more rational rules for football as a whole. Otherwise, the public will not understand it anymore, fans will lose their connection.”