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Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge criticizes the ‘’unhealthy’’ transfer market

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According to the Bayern honcho, the new astronomical transfer raises too high expectations and to fulfill them would almost be inhuman. 

31 January 2019, North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Chairman of Bayern Munich, answers questions from a moderator at Spobis. Spobis is Europe's largest sports business fair. Photo by Roland Weihrauch/picture alliance via Getty Images

Continuing his ongoing criticism, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has recently stated his disgust of the current transfer market to Sport1. According to Rummenigge, the nine-figure transfer fees raises ‘gigantic expectations’. Because of this, the Bayern Chairman believes it is almost inhuman to fulfill them. Rummenigge argues that the players know that the stadium is sold out because of them:

The people now expect magic soccer from you. You won’t always be able to do it.

It is not the first time Rummenigge has hinted on his disgust with the current trend of record-breaking transfers. He was quick to question PSG’s Neymar move back in 2017, declaring that Bayern would be a club who would never spend that kind of amount on one player.

Rummenigge wants Bayern to stay true to their own identity and silence out the madness of what is happening elsewhere:

FC Barcelona has the famous motto ‘Mes que un club’ — ‘more than a club.’ That applies equally to Bayern Munich. We cultivate our culture. And we will also find players in the future who see FC Bayern as more than just a soccer club.’

Rummenigge argues that Bayern has the luxury of being different from many other clubs. By being more ‘humane and honest’, the Lippstadt-native argues that most players pay back in turn. To strengthen his statement he used the example of Franck Ribery, as he wanted to leave one year after his arrival in Munich. Despite lucrative offers, Bayern became his home.

With no replacement for Robbery as of yet, some fans may become restless. Despite pressure from the fans, the Bayern board stays calm. The human component must be there — which, for example, did not make the James transfer possible. Bayern could have easily bought James and sold him for more which is something Rummenigge never considered:

Football cannot be human trafficking. It is not the style of Bayern to turn a player into a business.


BFW Analysis

These comments capture the conflict behind the scenes at Bayern Munich. I believe the issue of whether to stay true to your identity or cave into the crazy demands of the current transfer market is one that the Bayern is trying to tackle.

One the one hand, Rummenigge is right by saying that these new crazy transfers do bring a lot of unwanted expectations. Yesterday, Atlético Madrid paid €126 million for Joao Felix, which became the third highest ever paid in football. Joao Felix is still a teenager who has only one full season of first-league football behind him. Whether this young man can the pressure of his transfer fee is yet to be decided.

Before the Felix signing, Atletico was a lot like Bayern in their conservative dealings in the transfer market. In order to sign current super-stars or one of the world’s most highly regarded talents, Atletico decided to cave into the crazy amounts. I have a feeling the Bayern directors face a similar dilemma.