Could Bayer Leverkusen be set for a huge financial boost?
Throughout the duration of the last seven days, there has been speculation that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim will invest in Bayer Leverkusen, as reported by the Latin Times. Slim has a net worth of US$72.9 billion.
He was named as the richest person in the world a couple of years ago and remains one of the richest three people on the planet. The 75-year-old has a tendency to invest in football clubs; he currently owns 35% of Spanish side Real Oviedo and 30% of Mexican outfits Leon and Pachuca.
Javier Hernandez potentially a deciding factor
If an investment is to take place, Slim’s compatriot Javier Hernandez will be vital in luring the billionaire to the BayArena. Since the arrival of Hernandez, the Leverkusen support has advanced dramatically with a large amount of Hernandez fans as well as Mexican fans opting to get behind the German outfit. The 27-year-old has simply been incredible for Leverkusen on an entirely different scale, exceeding expectations on the field, while being a massive marketing figure for his new team.
The Latin Times revealed that Hernandez is a close friend of the Slims’ son, Marco Antonio Slim. This news in itself could convince one that Slim will partner with Leverkusen. But how would these potential proceedings affect Leverkusen?
Slim’s impact at Real Oviedo
Spanish outfit Real Oviedo were on the verge of going bust in late 2012 and managed to reach their required cash target to stay alive thanks to dedicated Oviedo fan Sid Lowe, who orchestrated an astonishing campaign that encouraged fans to donate a small sum of $13.
Once Slim got wind of this he was astounded to such a large extent, he opted to invest $2.5million into the struggling side and also helped out massively within the management sector of the organisation. This went a long way in helping the then third tier team – Oviedo had a successful 2014-15 campaign, gaining promotion to the second division of Spanish football, known as the Segunda Division. In the 2015-16 season so far, they sit sixth after 15 outings, just five points off top spot. The achievements of Oviedo are not to be sneezed at.
You may be thinking, what on earth would $2.5 million do for Leverkusen? It must be remembered how that was an incredibly large amount for a club under Oviedo’s circumstances. Because Leverkusen is already a considerably large club, Oviedo may be more inclined to contribute more.
Major effects on Leverkusen
Obviously this would be a fantastic coup for Leverkusen, for many reasons. The biggest advantage being the prospect of extra funds becoming available for Leverkusen as well as the further development of their promotional projects in Mexico.
The acquisition of funds could allow the BayArena outfit to purchase a range of higher quality players. In saying this, the present crop of Leverkusen talent should not be undermined. Leverkusen will need to secure a top four spot to increase the chance of attracting high-calibre stars and as it stands, the German club already boasts some exceptional players, with great emphasis placed on their youth stars.
Roger Schmidt has implemented a high-pressing style of play at Leverkusen, outstanding in an attacking sense while also maintaining an overall structure – a very attractive form of football. This could be another pivotal factor in reeling in some big names.
Bayern Munich possess the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Phillip Lahm and the list goes on. Significant signings would be required to challenge this potent Allianz Arena outfit.
In the previous transfer window, Leverkusen proved they can sign excellent players by adding Hernandez (€12m), Admir Mehmedi (€8m), Kevin Kampl (€11m), Jonathan Tah (€7.5m), the permanent signing of Kyriakos Papadopoulos (€6.5m) and Charles Aranguiz (€13m), spending a total of €58m. Only Bayern spent more. All signings have performed exceptionally, excluding Aranguiz who sustained a season-ending injury before the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign.
When you consider the effect those signings have had on squad depth and performance, you cannot help but wonder what signings Leverkusen could attract with more funds at their disposal.
Competition could skyrocket in seasons to come
Bayern Munich are literally unstoppable. They have won the last three Bundesliga titles with ease – in 2012-13, they finished 25 points clear of second placed Borussia Dortmund, 19 points clear of Dortmund in 2013-14 and 10 points clear of VfL Wolfsburg in 2014-15. Not to mention they already lead the league by eight points after 14 matches.
If Slim decides to invest and provide Leverkusen with a sufficient sum of funds, then it could see them competing for the Bundesliga crown that has never been attained in the club’s history in the not too distant future.
It could influence key players to stay
Making the top four could be enough to influence players to remain at the BayArena, but with the dominance of Bayern, players might seek opportunities elsewhere. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester Untied are three of the major clubs to have expressed strong interest in Karim Bellarabi, Hernandez, Lars Bender and Hakan Calhanoglu; essentially these players are the core of Leverkusen.
If a financial boost is to arrive in abundance, it will supply Leverkusen and its fans with greater ambition due to potential signings and perhaps more youth networks along with development programs.
All this could leave players more inclined to stay at a growing club in a competition still growing despite being regarded as one of the best three leagues in world football already.