Rummenigge’s warning: “Football first” became “Economy first”

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said goodbye to the CEO of FC Bayern on June 1, 2021. He is worried about today’s football.

Takes a Critical Look at Football: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
image alliance / dpa

The stadiums in the Bundesliga and 2nd division are filled again, Borussia Dortmund reports 81,365 spectators for the duel with Leipzig next Saturday night, the second division match between Dresden and Schalke will be witnessed by 30,000 spectators in Stadion der Sachsen. After a little more than two years with the pandemic, the German professional clubs can hope for normality again, which for many also means a significant basis for their existence.

Football and the problem of drawing consequences

Now one could be curious to see if professional football has learned any lessons from this two-year period of suffering. If one listens to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, his answer is a resounding no. “The big problem with football is that it is not ready to get out of these things (like the corona pandemic, i.e. editor) to draw conclusions, “the 66-year-old said on the” TOMorrow “podcast.

With this statement, the former CEO of FC Bayern is likely to focus primarily on the European clubs whose financial sources are more lavish than those of the DFL clubs, that is, the Munich competition in the Champions League from Paris, England or Spain. “Wages are still rising, transfer fees are still rising, and any industry that increases budgets during a crisis will eventually have to pay the bill.”

Wages are still rising, transfer fees are still rising, and any industry that increases budgets during a crisis will eventually pay the bill.

Rummenigge’s warning fits the current FC Bayern

It is a warning that fits perfectly into the landscape of current or past contract situations with the German record champions. David Alaba let FC Bayern move to Real with a heavy heart because the Munich team did not want to live up to his salary expectations. Niklas Süle received a contract offer that did not trigger the corresponding appreciation from the central defender, so he goes on to BVB. And also in the contract negotiations with the “big three” (Lewandowski, Müller, Neuer) it will be exciting to see how the Bayern bosses move their financial pain boundaries.

Financial fair play: Rummenigge holds UEFA responsible

Rummenigge, who was once a world-class striker and even one of the first million transfers in the history of the Bundesliga (1984 from Bayern to Inter), sees above all UEFA as responsible for the football club’s debts. “I think it could now be the big hit, where the clubs get tools in relation to a more serious financing, for example in relation to the level of debt. Do not spend more than you take in. That is the intention. with financial fair play. ” , said the European champion in 1980 with a view to the mountains of debt, for example at FC Barcelona or Real Madrid.

The Premier League currently plays football, especially in Europe.

But he does not see the main problem in Spain, it is more to be found in England. “The Premier League is currently playing football, especially in Europe. They may be at the top level, but UEFA can not agree that a league is now so dominant,” said Rummenigge, adding: “The only club that can keep up, is a Frenchman. club called Paris. ”

From this economic imbalance in European club football, the road leads directly to the discussion of the 50 + 1 rule in Germany. For Rummenigge, this is “a huge, huge handicap”. The big question to ask yourself in the Bundesliga: “How long can we afford to have more tradition than competitiveness?”

50 + 1 “a relic of the old days”: The competition is decided in the transfer market

According to Rummenigge, “tradition is a big asset in our country, which is also much appreciated by some fans. But if we do not get 50 + 1 in the right form at some point, so investors can still invest in the Bundesliga., Then the question arises, how long the Bundesliga can remain competitive. ” In Rummenigge’s view, it is “no coincidence that the net transfer market is operated by only one country, namely England. Even Real and Barcelona and everyone else can remain competitive under these conditions.”

For Rummenigge, the 50 + 1 rule in Germany is a “relic of the old days” that the DFB gave to the league in 2000, when the DFL was founded. For Rummenigge, there is an urgent need for changes in this rule. “It was 22 years ago, but at some point one has to think about whether it would not be better, more modern and more competitive to adapt this rule to the competitiveness of the German league, but also to international comparison. For international competition is only on the transfer market decided and we can not keep up with the English, “said Rummenigge.

“Football first” became “Finance first”

The former Bayern top manager sees today’s professional football on a dangerous path. “Football first” no longer applies, but “economy first,” Rummenigge said. “We are chasing the money to generate even more revenue, but the extra revenue goes from the clubs’ right pockets to the left pockets of the players and their agents.” Here, the 66-year-old sees the big clubs like UEFA and FIFA as responsible for “analyzing football” and then “making it more serious and fairer again”.

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