FC Bayern and LAFC form j/v business to develop and sell players

March 16 – German champions Bayern Munich have formed a partnership with Major League Soccer champions LAFC to identify and develop young talent for their own teams but also for the international market.

The player development business will be operated through a new joint venture company – Red&Gold Football – which will be based in Munich. The management team are to be announced.

The business will focus on developing players for their own players but also to release (trade) players into the international club market, where the players don’t fit into either FC Bayern or LAFC plans.

Oliver Kahn, CEO of FC Bayern, emphasised the business nature of the player development company and its intention to manufacture players for the transfer market.

“FC Bayern will expand its promotion of young talent with Los Angeles Football Club. On an international level, soccer is developing rapidly, which is also evident in the transfer market. We see this partnership as an opportunity to strengthen FC Bayern in the sporting competition with the best clubs in Europe and the Bundesliga,” said Kahn.

“The fact that the 2026 World Cup will largely take place in the USA, where we already have an office in New York, makes Los Angeles even more attractive. I expect a boost in quality and young talent in Major League Soccer, which will have a positive impact on our partnership.”

Bayern has put its training ‘campus’ at the heart of its youth development and talent identification. The partnership will use that expertise and facility to train the next generation of professional players.

Hasan Salihamidzic, FC Bayern’s Chief Sports Officer, said: “The cooperation with Los Angeles Football Club gives us the chance to develop talent internationally within our own system…. In the future, we will be able to offer our young players a career path that is even better tailored to them and thus a better transition into our professional teams and professional soccer.”

Bayern has focussed on the US market for its own commercial development, opening an office in New Yrok for partnership and sponsorship sales. This is the first time it has crossed into the playing and performance arena in the US.

John Thorrington, co-president and general manager of LAFC, said, “A partnership of this magnitude is the next step in our evolution as a club. We are extremely excited to work together with FC Bayern Munich to identify and develop young talent in Southern California and beyond and believe this relationship will provide players throughout our systems the ability to maximize their potential and see a clear pathway to our first teams.”

LAFC have had a meteoric rise through the MLS having only been founded in 2014 and entering the MLS in 2018 when Mexican-owned Chivas gave up their LA-based franchise. In 2020 LAFC made its debut in the Concacaf Champions League and last season one its first MLS Cup (the winner of the play-offs) as well as topping the league in the regular season.

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