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Borussia Dortmund has reportedly decided to stop “handing over” players to Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich has been accused of poaching players from its Bundesliga rivals too many times in the past. It looks like that is set to change.

Borussia Dortmund v SV Werder Bremen - Bundesliga
CEO Watzke and Sports director Zorc during the Bundesliga match between Dortmund and Werder Bremen.
Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images

The recent “history” of Bayern Munich’s pillaging of Borussia Dortmund’s talent might be a sore spot for those at BVB.

Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels both moved from Dortmund to Bayern, while Mario Götze also made the jump to Bavaria. Götze was signed by Bayern from die Schwarzgelben in 2013 for a fee of around 30 million euros only to later return to the Westfalenstadion in 2016.

All that movement could be near its end, however, as the Dortmund board has come up with an ingenious plan to make sure they can remain level with Bayern in domestic competitions: to “ban” the sale of players to Bayern.

According to a recent article by SportBild, BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and sporting director Michael Zorc had internal discussions to make sure Bayern former target Christian Pulisic didn’t end up at Bavaria:

Between Hans-Joachim Watzke (59) and Michael Zorc (56), there was a quick agreement when Christian Pulisic (20) finally declared in the summer that he would not renew his contract with Dortmund expiring in 2020. They did not categorically reject the wish of the winger to leave BVB one year before the end of his contract. The BVB bosses were tied to a premature release, however, on one condition: a transfer to Bayern is taboo!

SportBild further revealed that Dortmund’s master scheme was to ensure that the supply of talent to Bayern from the club be cut off in an attempt to keep the Bundesliga highly competitive:

Internally BVB has decided: In order to make the Bundesliga title race with Munich in the coming years competitive again, no stars will be handed over to their direct competitor. Dortmund is planning the attack on Bayern!

Oh no! Does this cunning ploy spell the end of Bayern’s Bundesliga dominance? How else will Bayern get talented players? Now that its rivals have turned increasingly smart, how does Bayern escape this predicament? Haha, relax folks. There is nothing to worry about.

BFW Analysis

Well first, let’s get a few things straight. Bayern hasn’t poached every Dortmund talent that’s surfaced from die Schwarzgelben’s ranks. Hummels was one of Bayern’s youth prospects before his spell at Dortmund. Technically, they were the ones who poached him from Bayern. The signing of Hummels by Die Roten just represents a reunion of a player with his parent club. If Hummels’ signing was “poaching,” then Dortmund’s signing of Marco Reus from Gladbach should also be deemed the same thing.

Lewandowski joined Bayern on a free transfer after the end of his Dortmund contract. The club has no right to complain that Bayern plundered them, since who wouldn’t want to sign one of Europe’s hottest strikers at the end of his contract on a free? If he didn’t end up at Bayern, he would’ve probably ended up in one of the other power clubs, which would’ve been bad for the Bundesliga as a whole.

Götze’s signing was the only time Bayern might have “poached,” and the Bavarians didn’t benefit tremendously from his signing either. Bayern’s success so far has been due to their diversified activity in the international transfer market — signing exciting prospects from various leagues and crafting them into seasoned, world class players. True, Bayern get a lot of their talent from Bundesliga clubs, but to think that their talent supply and success through these years was solely due to our transfer activity with Dortmund is ridiculous.

Why this might be bad for the Bundesliga

BVB selling players like Pulisic to clubs like Chelsea for lump sums isn’t doing the league — as a whole — any favors. The Bundesliga could have gained a lot from the marketing and advertising in the North American market, but guess what? Let’s sell our players to rich Premier League clubs. The logic in pushing the league’s most marketable American player to the Premier League as a way to “improve” the league is totally farcical.

If this trend continues, and Bundesliga clubs keep selling talent to clubs around the world, the German league might lose its overall strength in European competitions. Who knows? Pulisic could be why a Bundesliga club gets knocked out of European competition a few years ahead. This is why it is better to retain the talent that is developed in Germany.

Bayern is a mammoth of a club and has known where to look for good talent for years. Dortmund’s alleged embargo on Bayern will likely not affect the club in any way. If Bayern doesn’t get a Jadon Sancho, it will look for a Callum Hudson-Odoi or a Nicolas Pepe. Bayern is not at a loss here.

Psst... Can we plot a Sancho-Akanji double move while Dortmund are busy devising plans to keep us at bay?

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