Pep Guardiola has finally put an end to the speculation regarding his future. The ex Barcelona boss will take over the reigns at Bayern Munich this July, taking over from Jupp Heynckes. The 42 year old took a year long sabbatical out of the game to rest, and his return to top flight football may have come as a shock to a few.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been hunting Pep Guardiola since the day he announced he was stepping down from Barcelona boss. Abramovich apparently had even flown to New York to make Guardiola a target offer he 'simply couldn't refuse', but he did. For once, the riches of the Russian oligarch failed to attract.
Outside of Stamford Bridge however, many people would have guessed Pep would of snubbed Chelsea and Abramovich.
This may come as a surprise to Abramovich, but money has its limits in football. Stability, order and principles played a massive part in Guardiola's decision, and what better club than Bayern Munich?
The German club is almost a mixture of Manchester United and Arsenal in some way. Driven on by the decades of domination domestically as well as in Europe. The Bavarian outfit have 48 domestic titles to their name, 4 Champions League honours, 1 UEFA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Bayern Munich are the most successful, trophy-laden side in Germany.
In relation to Arsenal, Bayern Munich are arguably one of the greatest, economically focused clubs. With hugely lucrative deals having been signed with Audi and Adidas, plus regular sell-outs of the 71,137-capacity Allianz Arena, there are fantastic opportunities for revenue with Bayern. Bayern Munich's revenue has gone up by 69% over the same period that Abramovich has been at Chelsea, with their worst return (€105.2m in 2003-04) dwarfing the Blues’ most profitable year (€83.8m in 2006-07)
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has rightly boasted of his side’s proud record of finances, and claimed recently that Chelsea will struggle to meet the criteria set in place by the first FFP deadline in 2013-14. “It is no secret that 60% of professional European football clubs are in the red. What I do know is that Chelsea would not meet the criteria of Financial Fair Play today,” warned Rummenigge.
Roman Abramovich's cruel, ruthless approach to the way he treats his managers has ensured that Pep steered clear of Stamford Bridge. Abramovich sacked his eighth manager in nine years at the start of the season with Roberto Di Matteo. Bearing in mind Jose Mourinho was in charge for three of those years, it lays testament to the impatience, barbarous style the Russian has to his employees. Would Pep of been any different?
Pep Guardiola has signed a three year deal with the German side, is this the start of a similar trend we saw at Barcelona? The German side is full of world-class talent, and if Guardiola can incorporate some Latin style into the Germany drudgery, the two could be a match made in heaven.