Bayern Munich picked up right where they left off before the corona crisis with a routine 2-0 win over Union Berlin as the Bundesliga resumed this weekend. The absence of fans is a bizarre reality that took some getting used to, but competitive football is back in the Bundesliga and Bayern has 8 more matches to play to secure another Meisterschale.
Despite the upbeat mood upon the resumption of matches, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge struck an irritated tone when Sky Germany interviewers asked him about comments made by DFB president Fritz Keller (Spiegel). In an earlier interview, Keller had said that the corona crisis has shed a light on what happens when some of the “bigger” clubs “show off” the amount of money they have, which generates a negative perception around football as a whole. He said there should be far more humility amongst footballers and he was outspoken about how he feels there’s far too much pretentiousness in players, especially the ones on lucrative wages. While it might not have been a direct insult to Bayern, it was certainly a subtle dig that rubbed Rummenigge the wrong way.
When reporters asked him about Keller’s comments before kickoff against Union Berlin, Rummenigge said he was irked by DFB president’s “populist word-choice.” He took the opportunity to fire back at the DFB, a governing body of German football that’s had its fair share of controversy in recent years: “If there was a crisis in recent years, it could be found in the DFB. Maybe at the DFB they should buy a broom and clean their own house first. I can think of many things I did not like of the DFB over recent years. To this day, it’s still not yet determined when the 3. Bundesliga and the Frauen-Bundesliga matches can resume. It is now important that the others can follow suit.”
Of course, the corona crisis is a situation that no one had anticipated for, so adapting to the circumstances was always going to be increasingly difficult. Many clubs across the Bundesliga, 2. Liga, and 3. Liga took major economical hits due to the lack of gate receipts and television money, much like other clubs across Europe’s major leagues. Perhaps Keller’s statement will cause people to take a closer look at the 50+1 rule in the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, but his comments were certainly taken as ill advised by Rummenigge.