Bayern Munich on Thursday reported losses of almost 150 million euros (168 million dollars) owing to the coronavirus pandemic while club president Herbert Hainer defended infected midfielder Joshua Kimmich from vaccination criticism.
Bayern said at the annual assembly that turnover dropped from around 750 million euros in 2018-19 and close to 700 million euros in the first pandemic-hit campaign 2019-20 to 643.9 million euros in 2020-21.
Despite the hardship Bayern generated a small profit of 1.9 million euros last season which however was a far cry from the 50 million euros surplus in 2018-19.
That means the club has lost some 150 million euros since coronavirus measures started in March 2020.
But chairman Oliver Kahn spoke of "good turnover and profit" under the circumstances. Financial chief Jan-Christian Dreesen said Bayern were "on a solid foundation" that "has proven itself in times of crisis" while other top clubs were facing huge debts.
Bayern however have to moderate a major debate after their Germany player Kimmich recently acknowledged he was not vaccinated because of personal concerns.
It became more heated when Kimmich had to quarantine twice for being in contact with infected people - before it was announced on Wedesday that he was the latest Bayern player to contract the virus.
Hainer told the Bayern assembly the club was "permanently" in talks with their unvaccinated players to convince them of the jab.
"We as FC Bayern see vaccination as the best way to lead a life like before corona again," Hainer said.
But he also said he would stand by his players: "It is not OK to publicly shame our players, and especially our Joshua Kimmich."
Mainz sports director Christian Heidel reiterated his criticism on politicians demanding a 2G solution of only vaccinated and recovered players being allowed to play.
"Every one in this country should get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from this malicious virus. The vaccination rate is far higher than in society as a whole, we are at 98 per cent in Mainz," Heidel told Friday's Stuttgarter Nachrichten and Stuttgarter Zeitung dailies.
"I find it very worrying when some politicians publicly talk about 100 unvaccinated footballers. This is pure populism. You should think about how you can get 20 million unvaccinated people in Germany to choose a vaccine."
Some German regions have imposed lockdown measures amid the soaring infection rates and most stadiums across Germany have seen capacities cut drastically from the coming weekend.
Hertha Berlin were the latest on Thursday to have have their capacity cut to 39,738 fans for Saturday's match with Augsburg after reaching an agreement with city authorities, after initially hoping to have the stadium's maximum capacity of 74,000 available under 2G rules.