Before Bayern Munich took off to USA, team chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge spoke to Kicker regarding the preseason and explained why he thinks the league championship is not the most valuable title that the team can bring home.
Rummenigge referred to the Bundesliga championship as the “most important” title but admitted he no longer things of it as the most valuable one. It is a common knowledge that the Champions League brings money. All the participating clubs, including Bayern, are receive millions of Euros, and they depend on the competition for the same. The more barriers you cross, the more money you’ll earn. Rummenigge said (via Kicker),
But I will openly admit that [the league championship] is not the most valuable title. That is the Champions League.
The league champions start their season every year hoping for a repetition of 2013. With seven consecutive league titles, Bayern remains the top team in Germany, but unfortunate knockouts from the Champions League have dimmed the team’s lustre on the bigger platform. Rummenigge said,
In the Bundesliga, we remain the benchmark; in Europe, it would be good to advance farther than we did last season.
Early knockouts in the European competition are a big blow, and it is necessary to make sure that the team stays in the competition longer, not to mention winning the title. As Rummenigge states, however, that feat is getting harder and the competition is getting tighter between teams:
Without the Champions League, FC Bayern is no longer presentable: image, finances, sponsors — everything depends on it. And when you’re successful there, you have the whole world’s attention. When you — as we did last year — are knocked out in the round of 16, you lack presence there. We therefore have to see that we are there longer. It isn’t getting easier, because the competition is always getting harder, but it’s still always possible.
Niko Kovač has said that the team will have to endure difficult conditions on their USA tour. The chairman, evidently, didn’t take the comment lightly. He said that there’s hard work behind everything and that’s the way how people before Kovač have done it:
Every coach who has worked for us in the past few years has played along. It’s important that one simply accepts the trip as it is. There is — I can only repeat myself — no alternative.
Rummenigge has very good opinions about the preseason tour. He presumes that the three matches and training will help the team prepare for the upcoming season — which will begin about three weeks after their return to Germany. He does not consider the preseason as a burden, by any means. He said:
Our people have all done a fantastic job. We’ll be in the USA for nine days, playing three games. There will be training daily. And when we come back, there are about three weeks until the start of the Bundesliga with a training camp at the Tegernsee again beforehand. I don’t view the preseason as a burden in any way. On the contrary, our players like such trips.
Bayern have very big names in the list of their sponsors and share holders and, therefore, it is mandatory that the team presents well itself globally. As they have American and Chinese sponsors, with two trips back to back to USA, it is assumed that the team’s preseason matches will probably be in China next year. He said:
We have American and Chinese sponsors, on the one hand, and national sponsors on the other, who all - whether it’s Adidas, Allianz, or Audi to name only our three shareholders - attach great importance to the fact that FC Bayern presents itself globally. We have to showcase ourselves. After now two USA trips back to back, we will probably go to China again next year.