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Rummenigge and Hoeness at odds over the future of Bayern Munich’s transfer policy

The uncertain future of the sport is reflected in contradictory responses from Bayern’s president and CEO.

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FC Bayern Muenchen Attends Oktoberfest 2017
Three men with much to discuss.
Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images

Another sign of the lingering dissent between Bayern club president Uli Hoeness and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge emerged today, as both club fixtures give contradictory remarks on the future of Bayern Munich’s transfer policy in the new world of fees set by the record-breaking transfer of Neymar and others.

Hoeness: €100 million unacceptable

Speaking ahead of Bayern Munich's clash with record-spender Paris Saint-Germain, Uli Hoeness argued that clubs that depend on investors will sooner or later disappoint their patrons:

The time will come when all the clubs that are now pumping out so much money will have to make do with less, because success in sports is not set up the way the financiers imagined it to be.

Hoeness also pointedly ruled out transfers in excess of €100 million:

€100 million for a player is not acceptable for FC Bayern.

Hoeness roundly rejected criticism that Bayern may be headed for decline with such a policy. Insisting that Bayern should be praised for succeeding “through our own work and on our own strength.” For Hoeness, opening Bayern's new youth academy is “the right answer to the trend in international soccer, to the whole transfer-madness and salary explosion.”

Rummenigge: “Only the Ten Commandments are set in stone.”

In contrast, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is less certain that Bayern can count on the hypothetical clay feet of international soccer's newly-moneyed titans. While speaking to kicker, Rummenigge affirmed Bayern's traditionally restrained transfer policy, but also refused to rule out transfers in excess of €100 million:

Only the Ten Commandments are set in stone. The market is the market; it has its own laws, and there is no exception even for FC Bayern . . . I cannot seriously predict today what amounts we will pay in the future . . . but I can very much predict that we will always manage our finances seriously and never plunge into financial escapades.

Rummenigge clearly rejects the path taken by Paris Saint-Germain and others: “We don't want that; we also can't do that.” But rather than anticipate the market to come back down to earth, Rummenigge seems to think Bayern will have to rise with it.

The two Bayern bosses thus offer two different answers to the new dilemma posed by the transfer market. Hoeness anticipates the eventual decline of investor-backed clubs and is confident in Bayern's youth academy. Rummenigge meanwhile is cautiously moving with the flow of the market.

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