A series of verbal jousts between Ralph Hasenhüttl and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has broken out this past week over Bayern Munich’s tour of Asia, as part of the International Champions Cup. Speaking to Bild, the Leipzig manager criticized German clubs, and Bayern in particular, for their stressful preseason tours of Asia. Asked for his thoughts, Hasenhüttl stated,
I think it’s pretty outrageous what the players are asked to do on such trips. And I’m thankful that we’ve been spared from them so far. I think it’s problematic that the players are subjected to the stress of traveling and extreme changes of weather. . . . I do not envy these teams!
Hasenhüttl's instigative remarks seemed fairly justified after Bayern sustained injuries to the likes of Juan Bernat and Franck Ribery on top of what's been an overall disappointing tour, but Rummenigge was quick to fire back, maintaining that the clubs touring Asia were benefiting the Bundesliga:
I find Hasenhüttl’s statements to be cynical and uncollegial. The clubs that are here in Asia have done a service for Bundesliga TV marketing.
Hasenhüttl did not back down, retorting that, “I spoke as a coach. And I stand by my statement that the strain is immense and that a lot is being asked of the players. I don't know what's so cynical about that.”
Leipzig's sporting director, Ralf Rangnick, also chimed in in Hasenhüttl’s defense:
Even Uli Hoeneß said that the [Asia] trip is borderline and that there should be a discussion about it. If we were to plan such a trip, we’d have to be convinced that it would bring an enormous benefit . . . But if you were to ask all 18 Bundesliga coaches including Carlo Ancelotti, I'm convinced that all of them would prefer that their preseason takes place in Europe.
Rummenigge has yet to respond, but he and the club have stood firm by the contention that the Audi Summer Tour of Asia has been a resounding success, despite disappointing results in three of the four friendly matches played on the tour.