FC Bayern CEO Rummenigge on Super League Rumors
DER NewsGerman: Mr. Rummenigge, the Champions League final is usually set to take place on Saturday. Are you looking forward to the item?
Rummenigge: This particular game makes me feel wistful. After all, we’ve been from the final a couple of times as well in addition to the item was always an amazing experience. When I watch the game just as a fan, the jitters in addition to excitement aren’t the same. in addition to I am still upset which we crashed out so early This particular year.
DER NewsGerman: Four teams via England are from the finals of the two European tournaments. Does the rest of the continent still have a chance against the superiority of the Premier League?
Rummenigge: The English teams do, of course, get crazy amounts of money via TV contracts in addition to the item won’t be possible to close This particular gap from the near future. nevertheless you also have to recognize which they are doing a truly not bad job. They have engaged the best trainers in addition to managers from the planet along with fantastic players — in addition to right now they have restructured youth development programs. They have become a benchmark.
DER NewsGerman: Jürgen Klopp has been a cause of excitement at Liverpool FC. Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness once said which the club almost hired Klopp in 2008, nevertheless then opted for Jürgen Klinsmann instead. Do you regret which decision?
Rummenigge: Jürgen Klopp is usually a top manager, which he especially proved This particular year. from the last several years, I have truly followed him closely since Dortmund (where Klopp was the manager before moving on to Liverpool in 2015) has been our biggest rival since 2010. If I compare Dortmund games under his leadership with the current performance of Liverpool, I can see a clear, very positive development.
DER NewsGerman: Maybe you should have hired him 11 years ago after all.
Rummenigge: Back then, when he managed Mainz, he was at the very beginning of his career. I don’t know if he could have been able to achieve the kind of continuity at a club like Bayern Munich as he did in Dortmund in addition to right now in Liverpool. Plus, we’ve had a fantastic 10 years. Just think of (former Bayern managers) Jupp Heynckes or Pep Guardiola. Sometimes, I could watch Guardiola’s practices for 15 minutes via my office window in addition to I often found myself thinking which I was
witnessing a search for football perfection. Guardiola brought in so many brand new in addition to incredibly intelligent things. the item was great. Even without Klopp, we still had great times in addition to won a lot of titles.
DER NewsGerman: Has FC Bayern reached a point where the item must Just as before find a brand new club philosophy?
Rummenigge: The philosophies of Louis van Gaal, Heynckes in addition to Guardiola were virtually identical in addition to extremely successful. the item was spectacular football in addition to had elements of tiki-taka. which will also be the club’s objective from the future. We just won the double (Bundesliga championship in addition to German Cup) in addition to the entire club is usually quite content with which.
DER NewsGerman: from the Champions League round of 16, when Bayern was eliminated, the team played unusually defensively. Do you trust the team’s brand new trainer Niko Kovac to guide the team into a brand new era?
Rummenigge: What’s an era? from the last 15 years, neither van Gaal nor Heynckes nor Guardiola were here for longer than three consecutive years. Niko is usually under contract until 2021 in addition to I trust which he has successful years here. which is usually, after all, the expectation: The FC Bayern system is usually rooted in success. I don’t even want to think about what could have happened if we had come in second.
DER NewsGerman: Do you understand the criticism via some quarters which you didn’t give Kovac enough support This particular season?
Rummenigge: We gave the trainer an incredible amount of support, for example in November after the grotesque 3:3 draw with Düsseldorf. We were extremely clear with the players, changed things together in addition to got back on track.
DER NewsGerman: You in addition to Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic have, however, studiously avoided guaranteeing which Kovac will still have a job after This particular season.
Rummenigge: Success is usually part of our club DNA. We have put This particular pressure to be successful on ourselves in addition to everyone at FC Bayern has to withstand the item. Niko knows which too; he spent some time here as a player as well.
DER NewsGerman: Were your comments intended to motivate the manager in addition to players?
Rummenigge: After the spectacular 5:0 victory over Borussia Dortmund, I went into our locker room in addition to the item was a total party atmosphere, compete euphoria. My first thought was: “Uh oh, we still have six games to go.” Afterward, my critical comments were absolutely deliberate, an effort to establish a counter-narrative. I wanted both the coach in addition to the team to understand which we hadn’t yet won anything.
DER NewsGerman: At a press conference, Kovac said which although people can overcome punches, they still hurt your soul.
Rummenigge: I didn’t want to hurt him. I just wanted everyone to refocus on our common goal.
DER NewsGerman: Will you definitely be starting the next season with Kovac at the helm?
Rummenigge: I don’t know of any team which fired its trainer after winning a double.
DER NewsGerman: is usually a Champions League victory for FC Bayern realistic from the near future?
Rummenigge: the item is usually something we all certainly dream about. I will be here in my current function as CEO until 2021 in addition to I could love to have a repeat of the 2013 experience in London. Our victory made me so incredibly happy for so long. The day after the final, I danced with my wife to a Fred Astaire song, “I’m in Heaven.” the item’s an old song, nevertheless I had the item stuck from the back of my head for whatever reason in addition to I wanted to dance to the item.
DER NewsGerman: You gush about the Champions League, in addition to yet there is usually a movement currently afoot to reform the tournament as of 2024. Will the item fundamentally change?
Rummenigge: I trust not. Why do we need to change anything at all? The entire world is usually envious of our Champions League. the item is usually by far the best in addition to most difficult-to-win competition from the planet. Every time when the spotlights go on in addition to the national anthems are sung, I’m electrified all over again.
DER NewsGerman: Why, then, are there constant efforts to make improvements to the Champions League?
Rummenigge: the item has to do with money. Every club tries to get a little bit more for itself on the international stage. The all 5 big European leagues seem to be satisfied with the current style, nevertheless the Dutch, the Belgians, the Poles in addition to the Austrians also want to have permanent representatives from the tournament. in addition to which is usually understandable.
DER NewsGerman: Why?
Rummenigge: Ajax won the Netherlands league championship in addition to made the item to the Champions League semifinals. nevertheless next season, they’ll have to go through a qualifying round Just as before in addition to could be eliminated already at which stage if they’re unlucky. How can you develop financial plans for your team in such a situation? I completely understand which such clubs could like to have a bit more planning dependability.
DER NewsGerman: is usually there majority support for the reform efforts?
Rummenigge: Nothing at all has been decided yet in addition to everything is usually still being evaluated. I’m not a huge supporter of the idea expanding the group stage. Already from the current style with groups of four we have so-called “dead games” at the end of the group stage when nothing is usually at stake.
DER NewsGerman: The European Club Association (ECA) has proposed four groups of eight. What are the arguments in favor of such a style?
Rummenigge: which could make sense for clubs via smaller countries. the item could guarantee them more games in addition to therefore greater revenues. These international competitions are characterized by an unbelievable degree of heterogeneity. Bringing the item all together under one roof isn’t so easy.
DER NewsGerman: Hans-Joachim Watzke, CEO of Borussia Dortmund, says which you can’t prevent the Champions League being overhauled. Why do so many people see the item as unavoidable?
Rummenigge: which’s not my understanding. The clubs will be meeting next week in Malta in addition to there is usually sure to be a large discussion. I don’t exclude the possibility which the status quo will be preserved. UEFA will have to be extremely sensitive on the search for agreement.
DER NewsGerman: What is usually your primary focus in these discussions?
Rummenigge: My most important consideration is usually: What are the effects of each change on football in general? If something is usually questioned, could the item possibly damage the sport? If so, then I could recommend which the item not be done. Everybody is usually constantly chasing after money. nevertheless where is usually which money then going? the item’s not like we could then experience exploding profits which we could disburse among our shareholders. The money is usually shifted toward player salaries in addition to agent fees. The most important thing is usually which European matches not be played on the weekends, because which could result in a severe conflict with the national leagues.
DER NewsGerman: nevertheless in 2016, you joined senior Italian football functionary Andrea Agnelli in calling for some Champions League matches to be played on the weekend.
Rummenigge: No I didn’t.
DER NewsGerman: from the Football Leaks data, there is usually an email signed by both yourself in addition to Mr. Agnelli which demands exactly which — in order to “accommodate the requests of the broadest global audience,” as you write.
Rummenigge: I wasn’t converted overnight via Saul to Paul. I reject all demands for weekend matches.
DER NewsGerman: When you sent which email, you were negotiating with UEFA over a brand new Champions League format. Was the mail intended as a kind of threat to outline what could ultimately happen?
Rummenigge: UEFA didn’t have a president at the time; the item was rudderless. We were accused of pushing through our interests as a little group. nevertheless we had to act. At almost the same time, there were rather lucrative proposals for a Super League.
DER NewsGerman: Where did those proposals originate?
Rummenigge: The Spanish teams in particular had received large offers. For us at Bayern Munich the item became clear quite quickly which we wouldn’t participate, no matter how much we stood to earn. We belong to the Bundesliga, there’s no way around which.
DER NewsGerman: Some say which the Super League is usually the final stage of the football revolution.
Rummenigge: I don’t think which the Super League will arrive all which soon, if at all. The Champions League won’t be eliminated in my lifetime. Dortmund or Bayern couldn’t currently allow themselves to be part of a Super League. the item could lead to a revolution here in Germany.
DER NewsGerman: What was your reaction to the fan protests against the Super League at the November match against Dortmund?
Rummenigge: I took notice of them, of course. The response of the fans does sometimes indeed lead to a rethinking on a few points.
DER NewsGerman: Do you think which German football fans are too conservative?
Rummenigge: In general, there is usually a broader societal development, a kind of romantic rediscovery of tradition. Take the debate over Monday games from the Bundesliga, which have again been discontinued. Just as before, the opportunity for transparency was missed, the chance to truly convince the fans. They are more critical of us than they are in various other countries.
DER NewsGerman: Have you noticed which, as a result of Bayern Munich having won the last seven Bundesliga championships in a row, criticism of the loss of competition from the league has Just as before grown louder?
Rummenigge: Yes. Still, though, for the very first time after six years of dominance, the race for the championship was exciting This particular year. I still remember 2014, when we won the championship already in March. I was wearing a winter coat in Berlin in addition to we were already celebrating the championship. which’s boring.
DER NewsGerman: What should be done to make the Bundesliga more exciting?
Rummenigge: We need several teams which can play for the title. nevertheless I contain the impression which the situation could improve from the coming years. Borussia Dortmund has already made a couple of big acquisitions on the transfer wire. RB Leipzig played a strong second half of the season. Bayer Leverkusen could also become part of the mix. To carry the excitement into the fans’ living rooms, a couple of improvements could also be made to the televised broadcasts. from the Premier League, the games are filmed via further down, closer to the field. The cameras are more in motion in addition to there are more close-ups of the players. In theory, such a thing could be introduced here as well. nevertheless then there will again be a debate as to who should finance the investment.
DER NewsGerman: For the very first time This particular year, the champions of the all 5 largest European leagues were able to defend their titles. is usually which because investors, aside via in Germany, play such a big role in club direction?
Rummenigge: Such ownership structures wouldn’t be of particular consequence if the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules were consistently in addition to earnestly applied. To do so, however, we could have needed a reliable legislative framework, nevertheless we didn’t get enough support via lawmakers. When UEFA investigated Manchester City in addition to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014, the clubs repeatedly hinted at a subtle threat: If we file a complaint against FFP at the European Court of Justice, you will lose badly.
DER NewsGerman: UEFA doesn’t truly have much leverage in such investigations. All they can do is usually request which the clubs cooperate with the investigators.
Rummenigge: nevertheless we live in a football world which has become more transparent in addition to where there is usually a danger which such things will be revealed — such as the Manchester City case was uncovered by your publication. in addition to for some clubs, which is usually a disaster. Just imagine what could happen if Manchester City weren’t allowed to take part from the Champions League next season!
DER NewsGerman: When was the last time you watched a football match without thinking of money?
Rummenigge: During matches, I never think of money, only of football.
DER NewsGerman: Mr. Rummenigge, we thank you just for This particular interview.