FC BAYERN MÜNCHEN
UPDATED FOR 2023-24 - AUGUST 2023
Founded: Feb 27, 1900
Club Members: 300,000
Nickname: Stern des Südens
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Captain: Manuel Neuer
German Champions / Bundesliga: 33
German Super Cup Winner: 10
European Cup / Champions League: 6
European Cup Winners Cup: 1
UEFA Cup: 1
FIFA World Club Champions: 2
Intercontinental Cup Winner: 2
UEFA Super Cup Winner: 2
FC Bayern München were formed in 1900 by members of a gymnastics club (Münchner Turn Verein 1879) who met in the bohemian Munich suburb of Schwabing. Led by a Berlin photographer called Franz John, the group - which also included the German-born British artist Benno Elkan who designed the cockerel that stood atop Tottenham's old White Hart Lane ground - had grown frustrated by the lack of enthusiasm at the turn of the century towards the new sport of football and decided to strike out on their own.
Life for the not-yet-so-famous Rekordmeisters was in the beginning precarious, and to ease financial pressure they joined up with the well-heeled Münchner Sport Club in 1906 and although they were able to maintain their independence, as a concession they had to adopt MSC's red and white colours - which Bayern still turn out in to this day. After moving into their new home on Leopoldstraße a year later, Bayern soon became the dominant local side - winning a number of local and regional championships including the Kreisliga in 1910 before football, and by proxy the club, was brought to a shuddering halt with the advent of World War 1 in 1914. Two thirds of Bayern's members and players went to fight with the German military and sadly many of them lost their lives on the battlefield. For those who were fortunate to survive the conflict, they returned home to find Bavaria had become a spectacularly volatile place as simmering social tensions were brought to a head and for a short time the region even fell under the hammer and sickle - becoming a short-lived Soviet Republic before a bloody overthrow in 1919.
On the pitch, Bayern were soon back on their feet and won several regional titles before beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 to become German Champions for the first time in 1932 with some of their fans cycling 100 miles to Nuremburg to cheer on their team in the final. Dark clouds were now gathering across Germany however and this turned out to be the final championship played before the rise to power a year later of the Nazi Party who, ironically, had their roots planted firmly in Bayern's own Bavarian backyard. Club President Kurt Landauer, coach Richard "Little Dombi" Kohn and other figures within the club - all of whom were Jewish - were arrested as anti-semitism became official policy in Germany. Despite the 'purges' though, Bayern were discredited as a 'Judenclub ' by the new regime. As the Nazis made life hard for Bayern, club membership and player availability fell away and not long after the 1932 title triumph, progress was stalled and the club were never in the running for major honours following the restructure of German football under the Third Reich.
Players and officials did resist the facists' cooptation however with a number of acts of personal courage throughout the decade. In 1934, Bayern players were involved in a brawl with Nazi 'Brownshirts' and two years later, winger Willy Simetsreiter made a point of having his picture taken with Jesse Owens, who enraged Hitler by winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics. The full-back Sigmund Haringer narrowly escaped prison for calling a Nazi flag parade a "kids' theatre", and the captain, Conny Heidkamp, and his wife crated up Bayern's silverware and hid it when other clubs heeded an appeal from Reichsmarschall Herman Göring to donate metal for the war effort. The most symbolic act of defiance against the regime however came in 1943 when, during a friendly against a Swiss XI in Zurich, Bayern's players spotted Kurt Landauer (who'd emigrated to Switzerland following his release from the Dachau concentration camp) in the stands and went to applaud him - much to the irritation of the Gestapo officers in attendance.
When football resumed after the war, Bayern became a member of the Oberliga Süd but, despite the return from exile of Landauer as club president, recovering from the effects of war and Nazi rule proved to be a significant challenge and progress in the post-war period was faltering. A total of 13 coaches were hired and fired between 1945 and 1963 as Bayern struggled on and off the pitch, and despite winning their first DFB-Pokal in 1957 the club were on the verge of bankruptcy towards the end of the decade. Financial stability arrived however with the election of local industrialist Roland Endler as club president in 1958 and his arrival coincided with an upturn in fortunes as Bayern enjoyed their best years in the Oberliga.
Controversy was waiting for them just around the corner however.
Throughout 1963, the German FA (DFB) had been busy deciding which sixteen clubs should form the new Bundesliga which would bring all the regional Oberligen into one professional league. The criteria for making the cut included form over the past decade, financial stability and crucially, for Bayern in this case, geography. The DFB only wanted one club per city in that inaugural season and, despite Bayern's recent form, it was cross city rivals TSV 1860 München who got the nod. Bayern considered the decision an outrageous injustice and embarked on a period of restructuring and professionalism that saw Robert Schwan appointed as the first full-time manager in German football before Bayern were ominously promoted to the Bundesliga just a couple of years later. Club president Willhelm Neudecker, a larger-than-life character and an uncompromising yet very successful businessman, had promised to walk around Lake Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps if Bayern won promotion. He very much enjoyed the 13-mile hike.
Momentum was now building and with a side featuring "The Axis" of Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier and Gerd Müller on a mission, they finished their debut Bundesliga campaign in 1966 in a respectable third place before winning the DFB-Pokal final that same year with a 4-2 victory against Meidericher SV (today's MSV Duisburg). The European Cup Winners Cup was lifted in 1967 when a young Franz Roth began to develop a habit for scoring crucial, era defining goals and his strike midway through extra-time secured a 1-0 win over Glasgow Rangers and Bayern's first ever European title. Despite the additions to the trophy cabinet though, it wasn't until 1969 when they won their maiden Bundesliga title that Bayern finally stepped out of the shadow of city rivals TSV 1860 who took the shift in power badly - heading into a tailspin that has seen them endure financial struggles, relegations and lower league football ever since.
Bayern were now on the brink of becoming a major European power playing with a high intensity, counter-pressing style that would later become popularly known as 'gegenpressing' - a tactic now talked about by everyone from confused TV pundits to bluffing pub bores but with a far longer history in German football than many people realise. Having added Paul Breitner and future Bayern club president Uli Hoeneß to their already outstanding crop of home-grown talent, their battle for supremacy with Borussia Mönchengladbach defined German football in the 1970s - a decade that belonged to the city of Munich which in addition to hosting the 1972 Olympic Games and the 1974 World Cup Final, was where Bayern brought home three Bundesliga titles, the DFB-Pokal, the Intercontinental trophy and a hat-trick of European Cups.
By the time the 70s gave way to the 80s however, the 'Golden Years' team had broken up. Beckenbauer and Müller had left for a final payday in the US. Maier had hung up his gloves and Hoeneß did likewise with his boots when his playing days were cut short due to injury at the age of just 27. Instead of cutting his ties with Bayern however, Hoeneß moved upstairs as the club's general manager and began laying the foundations for Bayern to become one of today's football’s juggernauts. Referred to by many as 'Mr Bayern', he was one of the first in the game to realise the potential benefits of club sponsorship which generated extra revenue and stature for FCB. Meanwhile, a new generation of talent began their hunt for honours. Led by the prolific Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and a revitalised Paul Breitner who returned to Bavaria after spells at Real Madrid and Eintracht Braunschweig, 'FC Breitnigge' (as the media dubbed them) enjoyed another period of domestic success with six Bundesligas and three DFB-Pokals being added to the trophy cabinet. European trophies were harder to come by however with Bayern losing European Cup finals in 1982 and 1987.
In 1990, the glow of reunification became even brighter when the imperious West German Mannschaft enjoyed a mighty last hurrah at Italia '90, and having ended the 1980s with back-to-back Bundesliga titles themselves, Bayern shared in the feelgood factor sweeping across the country and were confident of success in the 20th century's final decade. Times were changing though and rather than another period of dominance by the Bavarians, it became the age of 'FC Hollywood' - an epithet that, even though it chimed with the glitz, glamour and irresistable draw of the nation's biggest football club, was spawned in reaction to the ego, infighting and soap-opera storylines that replaced on-field performances as the narrative of the club.
Responding to a dressing room that was on the brink of civil war and a snake-bitten 1991-92 season which saw Bayern finish just five points clear of relegation, the noisier malcontents within the squad were moved on and a number of the league's finest young talents were snapped up including Mehmet Scholl, Markus Schupp and Thomas Helmer. Lothar Matthäus was brought back from Inter Milan and, after saying Auf Wiedersehen to Jupp Heynckes, Søren Lerby and Erich Ribbeck; Franz Beckenbauer returned temporarily to the technical area for the first time since winning the World Cup and led ‘FC Hollywood’ to their first Bundesliga title for five years in 1993-94. After Giovanni Trappattoni (twice) and Otto Rehhagel had failed to get a consistent tune out of an off-key Bayern, Ottmar Hitzfeld's appointment ahead of the1998-99 campaign saw the club return to dominance and the back pages of the newspapers. After the club had won just two league titles during the 1990s, 'Der General ' lifted the Bundesliga in both of his first two seasons, before a third successive title in 2001 acted as a backdrop for Champions League success that year when Bayern overcame Valencia CF on penalties after a tense 1-1 draw in Milan. The era of FC Hollywood was finally over.
Hitzfeld left in 2004 after six trophy-laden years at the helm and after hiring some of the world's most high profile coaches including Louis Van Gaal, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern have continued to completely dominate German football - winning 14 Bundesliga titles and 9 domestic doubles since moving into the Allianz Arena in 2005. In 2013 under Jupp Heynckes (again), they topped off another league and cup double with victory at Wembley, when in the first all-German Champions League final, they beat newly established Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1. In 2020, Bayern became only the second club to complete the continental treble twice when they beat PSG 1-0 to become Champions of Europe for a sixth time.
Unsurprisingly, it's been business as usual again for Bayern this season - winning their eleventh successive Bundesliga title - and with highly rated coach Thomas Tuchel overseeing a squad featuring the likes of Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Alfonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka ... and now Harry Kane; the Stern des Südens (Star of the South) look set to leave the rest of the league in their wake for some time to come yet.
Ground Name: Allianz Arena
Architect: Herzog & De Meuron
Built: 2002 - 2005
Year Opened: 2005
Renovations: 2015, 2017
Capacity: 75,024 (15,794 standing)
Executive Boxes: 106
Executive Box Seats: 1,368
Business Seats: 2,152
Media Seats: 350
Wheelchair Spaces: 227
Construction Costs: €340m
UEFA Stadium Category: Elite
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Running Track: No
Floodlights: 2,500 lux
LED Video Screens: 200m² x 2
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Theresienwiesse (1900 - 1901)
Clemenstraße (1901 - 1907)
Leopoldstraße (1907 - 1925)
Grünwalder Stadion (1925 - 1972)
Olympiastadion (1972 - 2005)
Allianz Arena (2005 - )
Designed by famed Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron for the 2006 World Cup and named after financial services giant Allianz, the Allianz Arena is one of the world's great football grounds and should be high up on everyone's 'Must See Stadiums' list.
Built at a cost of €340 million and opened on 30th May 2005, with a capacity of 75,024 it is the second largest stadium in Germany behind Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park. Originally it was home to both Bayern München and city rivals TSV 1860 München with each club holding a 50% share in the stadium. However, money troubles for 1860 saw them forced to sell their share to Bayern for €11 million and agree to become tenants at their 'own' home until 2025. In 2017 however, 1860 were still struggling financially and returned to their former and much more budget-friendly Stadion an der Grünewalder Straße, leaving Bayern as the sole occupants of the Allianz.
The stadium's unique appearance owes much to the 2,874 self-cleaning ETFE foil air panels that make up it's façade and led to it being dubbed 'Schlauchboot' (Dinghy). During the day, these appear white, but the stadium's party piece comes at night when the panels are illuminated in different colours ... red for Bayern, and white for German international matches. Munich's police however have insisted on single-colour schemes being used after a number of accidents on the nearby A9 autobahn involving drivers distracted by changing lights on the stadium facade.
Inside the stadium things get really impressive. It's the only three tiered stadium in the Bundesliga and, like a modern-day colusseum, the stands rise steeply around the pitch ensuring spectators are kept close to the action and even up in the top tier, the action doesn't feel too far away. Standing areas are found in the Süd and Nordkurves (Bayern's ultras congregate on the lower tier of the Südkurve) with the rest of the stadium filled with seating. A cantilever roof runs around the entire stadium creating a bowl effect and offering fantastic sightlines wherever you are in the stadium.
The away fans are welcomed in the upper tier of the East Stand (Blocks 340 - 347) although an additional block (Block 242) in the middle tier can be made available, depending on the demand by the visiting club.
2022-2023: 75,006 (Bundesliga)
2021-2022: 33,062 (Bundesliga) *
2020-2021: N/A *
2019-2020: 57,353 (Bundesliga) *
2018-2019: 75,000 (Bundesliga)
* Season affected by COVID pandemic
Expected Ticket Availability
This is the tricky part. Since opening in 2005, the Allianz has seen only a handful of matches that haven't been a sell-out. You might get lucky with some of the Champions League group matches or early rounds of the DFB-Pokal, but generally speaking, unless you're celebrity fan Boris Becker, getting hold of a match ticket for Bayern is challenging.
Even as a club member you have to apply for tickets, so before you think of signing up and parting with your cash to get into a game, be warned that this tactic isn't a guarantee of success at clubs like Bayern. You could try luck on Bayern's official ticket exchange site where tickets MIGHT become available. Head for information here.
If all else fails you can always try your luck with secondary sellers around the ground, particularly on the walk from Fröttmaning U-Bahn station.
Bayern price their match tickets depending on whether Thomas Müller & Co are up against domestic fodder or taking on Champions League opponents. So, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket, depending on where in the stadium you want to watch the action, adult seats will cost €40-80 and it'll be €15 to stand on the terraces for all Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal matches. For Champions League group stage matches, it'll be €50-100 for seats and €19 to join the 'Red Munich's 89' and 'Inferno Bavaria' ultras on the Südkurve terraces.
Information about visiting the Allianz Arena for fans with disabilities can be found at:
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Werner Heisenberg Allee 25
If you're driving, you'll find the stadium alongside the A9 autobahn from Munich. Approaching from the north (Nuremburg) or west (Stuttgart) take the A9 Exit at München- Nord towards Munich. Drivers also get to park their cars in Europe's largest underground car park built beneath the stadium. It has a total of 9,800 places (including 130 disabled parking bays) but there are a couple of drawbacks. It's pricey at €10 per car. Secondly, and perhaps not surprisingly, it will take you a while to exit the car park at full time. In car parks P1-P3, a vehicle licence plate recognition system is in operation, and you can register your car here (in German only) on Bayern's website or via the FC Bayern App.
Match ticket holders can ride around on buses and trains within the Münchner Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund (MVV) area free of charge on matchday. The stadium is 7.5 miles northeast of the centre of Munich. The easiest way to get there is by U-Bahn. Take the U6 line (Direction: Garching-Forschungszentrum) from central Munich and get off at Fröttmaning. From here it is a 10-15 minute walk along the Espalande to the security and turnstiles at the stadium which you'll be able to see as soon as soon as you exit the station. Be advised that security at the Allianz is tight, particularly with regards to bags. Anything bigger than an A4 sheet of paper is not going in - no matter how much you plead. If in doubt, check your bags in to the luggage facility on the left-hand side of the approach to the arena.
If you are lucky enough to have a match ticket, the cost of your public transport is included so this, and the fact that it's miles from central Munich, should mean there's no need for us to provide walking directions. Google Maps can plan a route for you though if you're feeling in need of the exercise.
FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS
The FC BAYERN STORE is the main club store (Allianz Arena; 10am-6pm daily; 2.5 hours before kick-off until one hour after full-time on matchdays - entry on a matchday is restricted to those with a valid match ticket only). The club also has numerous other branches across the city - including both terminals at the airport - and Bayern have a list of them here.
Described by Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as "the world's best and most innovative exhibition of a football club's history " when it opened in 2012, FC Bayern Erlebniswelt is the largest club museum in Germany and located at the Allianz Arena (adults/concessions/children under13 €12/€10/€6; 10am-6pm, daily. Opening hours may differ from the above on FC Bayern home matchdays and entry is restricted to those with a valid match ticket). The club strongly advise that you pre-book online due to the high demand.
After being suspended due to COVID, 60-minute stadium tours on non-match days have resumed. Entry to FC Bayern Erlebniswelt is included and tickets must be bought in advance, either online (click here) or by phoning +49 (0) 896 9931222 (adults/concessions/ children under13 €25/€22/€11; 10am-6pm daily). You can also give yourself motion sickness by exploring the Allianz Arena through a 360° Virtual Tour here.
FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS
There are food and drink vans on the approach to the ground from the U-Bahn station with the usual German football fayre of beer, bratwurst, frikadellen etc on offer. There is very little in terms of bars and restaurants - none in fact. So you may as well get yourself in the ground where you'll find the same food and drink choices as outside. Watching the pre-match build-up inside the stadium is also a lot more interesting to look at than what you'll find outside.
Bayern got rid of their 'ArenaCard' payment scheme at the end of the 2021-22 season and so now everything is paid for using contactless methods - debit and credit cards, mobile phone etc. Cash is no good to you here.
OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA
BUNDESLIGA: FC Augsburg
BUNDESLIGA 2: 1.FC Nürnberg, SpVgg Greuther Fürth
3.LIGA: FC Ingolstadt 04, SpVgg Unterhaching, SSV Jahn Regensburg, TSV 1860 München