Bayern Munich AGM: Qatar International Hotels company accused of breaching standards of corporate governance

Bayern Munich’s AGM ended in chaotic scenes after Qatar’s investment arm was accused of breaching standards of corporate governance.

The breakdown at Wednesday’s annual meeting follows criticism of its marketing deals with Qatari investors.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Qatar Holding had been “blackmailed” by sponsors.

“This is something completely irresponsible and a pure violation of norms,” he said.

Caretaker chairman Andreas Seebäck added: “Qatar Holding must see things clearly and must terminate these contracts immediately.”

When the deal with Qatar Holding was confirmed in April 2017 it was hailed as a “major coup” for the German club.

The 24-year-old Paris St-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe was linked to the deal, but Bayern insisted he had not been signed, as he had not been designated by the Parisian club as a future poster boy.

Bayern, which is owned by German media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, had fought hard to keep the deal.

The president of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, told German magazine Der Spiegel he had personally intervened when the deal was struck to help convince Rummenigge to deal with the issue.

When the issue was finally brought up on Wednesday by a shareholder at the AGM – which ended in pandemonium – Qatar’s response was scathing.

Qatar Holdings had already issued a statement on Sunday in which it defended its association with Bayern.

It read: “The signing of a sponsor agreement with Bayern is the result of several months of successful negotiations.”

The statement added that Qatar Holding had won respect in football circles and was a “key partner” to Bayern and its Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

The Qatari investment vehicle added that its role was “supervisory” and not anything more.

On the subject of sponsorship deals, Qatari Business Daily, a publication dedicated to Qatari business interests, posted on its website that “Qatar Holding said the money will be used to increase the financial muscle of Bayern.”

“That will help the Club finance a young generation of stars and potential marquee targets for Bayern, as well as acquisitions and other worthwhile projects.”

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