Posted: Friday January 27, 2012 2:04PM ; Updated: Friday January 27, 2012 2:04PM

Bayern Munich apologizes for hoax player signing

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MUNICH (AP) -- Bayern Munich apologized Friday for tricking fans over a "spectacular new signing'' after supporters reacted angrily to a publicity stunt in which the Bundesliga leaders sought to increase their fan base on Facebook.

Bayern said on its website that it had taken fans' numerous comments into account to determine that many were "very angry'' with the club.

"We're sorry. But it wasn't our intention to disappoint you with the new FC Bayern app,'' Bayern said. "Rather, we wanted to put the focus on you with this action, to show how important each fan is for Bayern Munich.''

Fans had been directed to Facebook to watch the announcement of a new forward on Thursday, and were made to "like'' Bayern's page in order to view the proceedings.

Instead of learning the identity of forward Mario Gomez's backup, fans were then presented with an app called "The New FCB Star.''

"Dear fans, you probably already noticed that we did not sign a new player. This app is for our fans to show the importance of you for our club,'' the club had said. "Each Bayern fan is the 'spectacular new signing,' our 12th man!''

Thousands of fans reacted negatively, leaving uncomplimentary comments on the club's Facebook page - even though Bayern described the whole thing as "a bit of fun for our fans.''

"I think the timing and how it was announced weren't quite so fortunate,'' said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, referring to the 3-1 loss at Borussia Moenchengladbach last weekend.

"If we had won 4-0 in Moenchengladbach and it had been presented in a different manner, then it would have been somewhat more successful.''

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