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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge outlines Bayern Munich’s roster strategy to fight exploding wages

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Bayern’s CEO insists that the club will find its own way to operate in the transfer market amid exploding player’s wages: young players like Fiete Arp are key.

FC Bayern Muenchen Audi Summer Tour 2019 - Day 9 Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

It is no secret that today’s market in football has become increasingly inflated. But it is not only transfer fees that are exploding: with each passing transfer window, player’s wages are also rising along with astronomical transfer fees. Recognizing how drastically the modern market is changing, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge feels that Bayern must find a solution to this trend that does not compromise its ability to field an elite team (per Bild+).

Rummenigge argues that clubs in Spain, Italy, and England are responsible for the lion’s share of wage inflation, forcing clubs to take on a serious financial burden to sign big-name players:

The market has completely changed. The transfer fees are not the only thing that gives me pause. Fees as high as €100 or €120 million are already almost nothing spectacular anymore. What makes me worry much more is the trend in wages, which comes especially from Spain, England, and Italy. The trend is: net! You have to take care that the wage structure does not become unbalanced. The sums are already enormous. For example, [Antoine] Griezmann: in the two-figure millions. Per year. Net! You have to take that on twice, because the club pays the taxes. That saddles you with some very fine baggage.

Vissel Kobe v Barcelona - Preseason Friendly Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

At Bayern, Rummenigge wants to ensure that the club does not abandon its traditional way of managing its finances by embracing the inflationary trends of the market. To do so, he says, the club needs to find its “own FC Bayern way”:

We have to find a philosophy of our own. We won’t go along with all the insanity. We want to have a very good team that plays successful and ideally spectacular soccer. That also comes with large expenditure. To do that, we have to go our own FC Bayern way.

That way, Rummenigge argues, will place an emphasis on developing players from the youth squads who can work their way up to the senior squad. Filling roster spots with homegrown prospects can decrease the amount of money dedicated to wages for players on the senior squad:

In the future, positions 17, 18, 19, and 20 on the roster have to be filled with young people who do not cost horrendous transfer fees — and earn normal wages. From these four players, we have to succeed in promoting one to two of them who are capable of playing on the roster of the first team. That will definitely be an interesting task for Hansi Flick in coordination with our head coach Niko Kovac.

Those four roster spots could be filled by players returning from loans, who have been loaned out by Bayern for certain spells, players that have developed at academy systems, or inexpensive players with potential from smaller, less established clubs.

Fiete Arp, who Bayern signed from Hamburg for €2.5 million, is a prime example of the type of inexpensive player that can transform into a top talent for Bayern without them having to break the bank. Rummenigge said the he made a good impression in the U.S during the club’s Audi pre-season tour:

He comes from HSV from the 2. Bundesliga and has to establish himself here. He made a good impression in the USA and is moreover a nice young man.

FC Bayern v Real Madrid - 2019 International Champions Cup
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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images