The Bayern cash machine: 110 million dividends in the last 19 years

The Bavarian club has closed the last 30 financial statements in profit, managing to distribute dividends to its shareholders as well.

Bayern Monaco perquisizioni
(Foto: Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)

A money-making machine, capable of lining up over 30 financial years in profit and distributing dividends to its shareholders. Bayern Munich is a unique entity in the world of football, thanks not only to its international stature and on-field successes but also to its strong connection with the region. This connection has led some of Bavaria’s major companies to enter the club’s shareholding. They are rewarded almost every year with million-euro dividends, symbolic for companies with billion-euro turnovers, showcasing Bayern’s leadership’s ability to play football without spending more than it earns.

In recent days, the Bavarians released the financial data for the season 2022/23, revealing a record turnover of 854 million euros, with a profit of 35.7 million. This marks the 31st consecutive financial year in profit for the club, which has also decided to distribute dividends to its shareholders.

How is Bayern Munich’s shareholding structured? Currently, 75% of FC Bayern München AG (the group that also manages the Allianz Arena) is owned by FC Bayern München eV, the association consisting of over 300,000 club members and fans. The remaining 25% is divided equally among Adidas (8.33%), Allianz (8.33%), and Audi (8.33%), which have owned their shares since 2002, significantly aiding the club in financing the construction of the Allianz Arena. These three shareholders, as mentioned, collectively make up 25% of the ownership and are therefore below the blocking minority stake threshold so FC Bayern München eV can manage the club without excessive influence from external investors.

From the 2004/05 season (the latest available consolidated data) to the 2022/23 season, Bayern Munich recorded profits of 315.7 million euros, with revenues totaling 9.3 billion euros. This averages to nearly 500 million in revenue (493 million) per season and an average profit of 16.6 million annually. The turnover has increased from 190 million in 2004/05 to 854 million in 2022/23, with a profit record of 52.5 million in 2018/19. This is credited to investments consistently monitored (before the summer 2023 transfer market, with the only Harry Kane costing over 100 million, Bayern had spent over 100 million in total in only three transfer windows since 2004). The ratio of revenues to player wages and amortizations has always been below the 70% threshold, considered an example of good management.

As for dividends, only in the 2020/21 season (most affected by the Covid pandemic) the club decide to not distribute dividends to shareholders. Overall, from 2004/05, Bayern Munich has distributed 110.2 million euros in dividends, with an average of 5.8 million annually (a maximum of 15 million in 2018/19). As mentioned, these funds have gone not only to small shareholders but also to the three major shareholders. For the 2022/23 season, for example, Adidas, Allianz, and Audi received a total of 2.25 million euros, while the remaining 6.75 million will be paid to the shareholders. These profits have also strengthened the net worth of the Bavarian club, exceeding half a billion euros at 536 million as of June 30, 2023.