The pharmaceutical company Bayer owns soccer powerhouse Bayer Leverkusen in Leverkusen, Germany. In the previous two generations, the club won the UEFA Cup in 1988 and lost in the Champions League final in 2003. This past season, Bayer Leverkusen was back near the top, but ended up in 5th place in the Bundesliga. That place in the standings meant that Leverkusen qualified for the UEFA Europa League instead of the UEFA Champions League.
Although Bayer has lost billions over the past two seasons for buying Monsanto, Bayer was looking to recoup some of their funds through Bayer Leverkusen, but Leverkusen fell short of qualifying for the Champions League. The Champions League is big money as qualifying for the Champions League garners 15.25 million euros for a team.
Since Bayer does not have the extra funds to keep the team intact, Leverkusen had to let two of their best players go. Midfielder Kai Havertz is about to sign with Chelsea on a 90 million euro contract. Havertz is already a player that a team can build its franchise around even though he is 21 years old. Attacker Kevin Holland is reportedly going to sign with Monaco in the range between 15 million and 25 million euros. Both players have scored ten or more goals for two straight seasons.
Leverkusen was on the precipice to becoming a European soccer power once again. However, they will experience a decade of mediocrity because Bayer bought Monsanto.