Is Bayern’s dominance good for the Bundesliga?
Published: 25.06.13 / Written by: David Gold
Bayern Munich’s arrival as the new team to beat on the European stage is welcome news for anyone sick of Barcelona.
Although it would be hard to get bored of watching Barcelona. Even when they’re beating your team with their tiki taka football, it’s still enjoyable to watch – that’s the beauty of Barcelona.
Nonetheless Bayern freshen things up with their rise to the top of Europe’s power rankings. But back home in Germany, they were sick of Bayern’s dominance long ago. They wanted Borussia Dortmund to win – as did most neutrals – in the Champions League final. But it wasn’t just because of how loveable Jurgen Klopp is. No one likes Bayern much – they are the Manchester United of Germany, only without any real competition.
Sure, Borussia Dortmund have still won two of the last three German titles. But then again, they finished 25 points behind last season as Bayern finally got the better of them. And now Bayern are busy dismantling Dortmund’s side. Mario Gotze has already gone – and though Dortmund have told Robert Lewandowski that he can’t follow him to the Allianz Arena, they may just be delaying the inevitable until next year when the Polish forward’s contract ends.
It would be a huge shame, not just for Dortmund, but for German football in general. Bayern appear to be dominating and threatening to do so for years to come. If you haven’t heard, they’ve hired Pep Guardiola for next season. They have a relatively new stadium still, can spend £100 million a year on player transfers and still not work up any debt. Unlike the other big teams of European football – from United and Barcelona to Real Madrid and Arsenal among others – Bayern have no debt. They haven’t failed to turn a profit for almost 20 years.
What’s more, German football already distributes television money equally, unlike in Spain, and there is a 50+1 rule preventing a billionaire taking over and challenging them, as Chelsea and Manchester City have been able to do in England. Unlike most Italian sides they have a modern stadium that they own, and unlike Manchester United, they aren’t being squeezed by a leveraged takeover draining their profits.
So what is there to stop Bayern? Not much, it would seem. But it is not good for German football for there to be this current lack of competition in the Bundesliga. They need more competition, otherwise the league will be less attractive to neutrals. Uli Hoeness, Bayern’s general manager, has already bemoaned how uncompetitive the league was this season. Bayern won four games 6-1, two 5-0 and another one 9-2, against Hamburg, let alone their 7-0 two leg thrashing of Barcelona.
Their hegemony is more entrenched than that of any other major team in one of Europe’s top leagues. Even in France Paris St Germain are threatened by the Russian billionaire backed Monaco. For all that German football is rightly praised, they must work out a way to make the league more competitive if they are to continue their progress.