Bayern Munich were due to travel to Australia after the last Bundesliga game against FC Koln, but that was called off due to the organizers being unable to fulfill the prearranged cash agreement with the Bavarians and the Australian government enforcing a strict budget. They were supposed to play the A-League All-stars on June 3, right before the A-League men grand finale (via Sydney Morning Herald, yes their initials spell “SMH”; fitting):
Negotiations were so advanced that some promotional content involving Bayern Munich players had already been filmed, while Arnold had been sounded out to coach the All Stars and lend credibility to what would have otherwise been seen as a money-spinning end-of-season jaunt for the Germans, turning it into a Socceroos audition of sorts for local players.
It comes as a major blow for the Australian Professional Leagues, which had promised to build a ‘festival of football’ around the A-League grand final after signing the eight-figure agreement with Destination NSW to lock in Sydney as the location for men’s and women’s deciders through to 2025. It now has no high-level European content in place to augment the week as originally hoped.
That deal for the grand finals, sources said, did not include any built-in funding for the All Stars concept, which meant the APL had to seek extra money from the government for it separately, leaving them vulnerable to a change of mind from a minister – or, indeed, a change of government entirely, in this case, and the change of priorities that comes with it.
The controversial circumstances in the planning of the festival have angered Aussies that they’ve decided to boycott the league in protest.
The quoted fee that Oz apparently couldn’t pay was 6.5-8 million dollars (AUD?), which was probably the trade off and thus silenced any notion of pulling through with the planned football festival. “We were also not wedded to [the All Stars game] being in Sydney – we’ve always said all along we’ll share content around for the good of the game,” APL chief executive Danny Townsend said on Tuesday at the A-League’s finals series launch.
“The longer [talks] went on, the shorter the sale window went, and to make these things commercially viable, you really need as much of a run-in as you can. We had to make a call, and we sat down with Bayern and made that call. They were great to deal with along the way, but we just didn’t get there.”