—- It’s very easy. The coach, the sports director and the chairman all discuss and then, if any one of those three says: ‘No,’ then we don’t sign this player.
If it’s a player who is very expensive then they have to go to the advisory board – and I am the boss of that – so we sit and disuss it.
Again, if any one of these four is against a transfer we never do it. The decision has to be unanimous. We never take a 3-1 decision. It’s only ever 4-0.
But we also have five or six players now who have come through our youth policy: Schweinsteiger, Muller, Badstuber, Alaba and so on.
That is absolutely super because it’s important for the image of the club with the fans to have players from your own youth academy.
I’m told that, over the last 15 years, 85 players from the Bayern youth academy have played in first or second divisions in different countries around Europe.
There is no budget, either. They get what they need. For example, with Frank Ribery we wanted to pay €20m and the next step was €20.2m then it was 24 and 26 and, in the end we paid something like €28m.
So it went up 8m in three hours. How can you then justify limiting your budget for the sake of €200,000 or €300,000? That makes no sense.
The most important thing in our club model is that we have never been in debt now for 32 years. When I sold Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to Internazionale Milan was the last time Bayern Munich had red figures in the budget.
In those days we had 7m German marks’ of debt and I sold Rummenigge for 11 and with the rest we bought Lothar Matthaus for two and a half and Roland Wohlfarth from Dusseldorf for one and since then we have never been in debt and, over the last 29 years, we have been in profit 19 times.
The most important ‘secret’ is that, in order to make a profit, you have to be able to say ‘No’ sometimes whether over salaries or transfer fees. We never have to go to the credit department of a bank, only to the cash department.
Even when we signed a cheque for 40m euro for Javi Martinez last year we could take it from our accounts – and being able to do that is something which lets you sleep very well at night.
As told to KEIR RADNEDGE for World Soccer/ESM