VIEWS FROM GERMANY: Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have more to lose with the European Super League
Proposals for a European Super League have been met with predictable outrage in Germany as Bundesliga clubs seemed to be distancing themselves from the leading group.
In a competition where supporters’ interests are more fiercely and more effectively defended than almost anywhere in Europe, the reaction came as no surprise.
Leading figures in German football have condemned the move as ‘irresponsible’ and have labeled English clubs like Liverpool as ‘shameful’ for signing up.
Bundesliga clubs seemed to be moving away from the breakaway Super League
In a statement on Sunday evening, league chairman Christian Seifert warned that the project could do ‘irreparable damage’ to European football.
“Economic interest from a few top clubs in England, Italy and Spain should not lead to the abolition of established structures in European football,” he said.
“It would be irresponsible to irreparably damage national leagues as the basis of European professional football.”
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has previously said he would never support the idea
The German FA (DFB) issued a similar condemnation, with a thinly disguised warning to Bundesliga clubs not to join the rebel league.
“Each club will have to decide whether to remain a part of the solidarity of football as a whole or to pursue fully selfish interests outside UEFA and the national federations,” the union said.
Some clubs quickly moved to scorn the project, with Rudi Voller, sporting director of Bayer Leverkusen, calling it ‘a crime against football’.
The curly-haired former World Cup winner said clubs that signed up should be kicked out of their national competitions and that Liverpool has received special criticism.
“For a club whose fans sing ‘You Never Walk Alone’, this is a shame,” said Voller.
Bayer Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Voller called it a crime against football and blamed Liverpool for particular criticism
In reality, there would only be three German clubs that would even qualify for a place in the Super League, one of which has already announced fundamental opposition to the idea.
In a statement on Monday, Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said the European Clubs’ Association had agreed to reject the Super League’s plans.
He said the ECA board had agreed to reform the Champions League, saying he had “a clear opinion rejecting the creation of a Super League.”
He added that both Dortmund and Bayern had taken the ‘100 percent’ position in the same position.
Both of Germany’s biggest clubs were rather skeptical about the idea of a Super League.
“I would never support a competition that does not have open access,” Watzke said in an interview with the regional newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten last month.
The Bundesliga clubs have more to lose with a still-influential fan power in German football
Dortmund relies heavily on their regional identity and passionate local fan base
‘A closed society like the American NFL, NHL or NBA is not our football. As far as I’m concerned, it can’t happen, ”he added.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has been similarly dismissive of late, arguing that it was something he ‘could never imagine’.
‘It would shake the foundations of European football. I don’t think it would be good, ”he said in April.
On Monday, the soon-to-be-departed Bayern coach Hansi Flick said the Super League “ would not be good for football. ”
For Dortmund, which relies heavily on their regional identity and passionate local fan base, actively joining the elite would be dangerous.
It would risk completely alienating their stadium fans, leaving the famous Yellow Wall a shadow of its former self and robbing the club of its biggest selling point.
Bayern and RB Leipzig might have been more tempted. The Bavarians already command an international fan base rival that of United of Liverpool, and Leipzig, backed by Red Bull, is by definition less rooted in the traditions of European football.
Red Bull Leipzig may become more under the spell of the props due to their less traditional roots
But because fan power is still a factor in German football, they have more to lose than their English or Spanish counterparts.
‘Clubs like Bayern and Dortmund know what thin ice they are on. Clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United have long since become more shameless, ‘wrote Der Spiegel magazine.
Yet the German press is also convinced that the big Bundesliga clubs will have to nail their colors in one way or another.
The genie will not be forced back into the bottle. The Super League is coming, football is sure of that. The only question is when it will come and what form it will take, ‘he wrote The time newspaper.