Bundesliga wary of EPL’s financial clout

Berlin, Aug 14 (IANS) Fundamental thoughts are going through the minds of the Bundesliga clubs even as champions Bayern Munich gear up to play their 2015-16 season’s opening match against Hamburg SV.

One is the anxiety about the league’s competitiveness and the fear of being overwhelmed by the English Premier League (EPL). The other decisive question in the minds of the fans is the future Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola, reports Xinhua.

Some Bundesliga clubs fear being left behind after England’s top league signed a gigantic TV deal worth up to seven billion euros for three years. In comparison, the Bundesliga earns around 2.5 billion euros in four years.

“We have to be very careful the English Premier League does not start a sell-out in the Bundesliga,” said Bayern Munich’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Thursday.

Klaus Allofs, the general manager club VfL Wolfsburg said: “The Bundesliga has to make sure it increases its income. Otherwise we will be forced to sell our best players.”

The financial muscle of EPL is considerably higher than the Bundesliga, which is making the German clubs fret over their future.

Around 68 percent of EPL players come from abroad while in Bundesliga it is 48 per cent. English clubs invested 755 million euros before the start of the 2015-16 season and received 474 million euros from selling players. Bundesliga clubs spent 294 million euros and sold players for 268 million.

While top German clubs are venting their concerns, its managers see a silver lining amidst the cloud.

“To gain as much money as we can from England,” a view expressed by FSV Mainz 05 general manager Christian Heidel.

German coaches are urging the Bundesliga to sharpen its image as a league where young talents have a real chance to make it into professional football.

After German international Bastian Schweinsteiger left Bayern for English giants Manchester United, Wolfsburg have complained about offers Manchester City is assumingly making for its striker Kevin de Bruyne.

Five-time Champions League champions Bayern is the only German club that has the power to rival the English clubs financially.

Economically weaker clubs are dumbfounded that a comparatively small English club like Stoke City is able to pay around ten million euros for striker Shinji Okazaki.

Allofs is upset about the tendency of the English clubs to lure talented German players, like de Bruyne, with lucrative but unrealistic offers.

But for former German keeper Oliver Kahn, things are clear: “The English Premier League will be the most attractive league if you look at football as a global sport, due to its financial clout. Fans around the world prefer a league with superstars.”

While Bayern could set a new German record by winning the league title the fourth consecutive time, fans are talking about the future of its 44-year old Spanish coach Pep Guardiola who is expected to leave after the season for EPL.

Former Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp is rumoured to be a candidate to succeed Guardiola but a more realistic choice is the Swiss-born Lucien Favre of club Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Guardiola has had some differences of opinion with Bayern’s bosses and refused to speak about his future so far. But another failure to win the Champions League, after two earlier unsuccessful attempts, would surely end his tenure.

Bayern’s new signings, midfielders Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal seem to be Guardiola’s last chance to turn around things.

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