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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge settles rift with DFB President Fritz Keller

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The brief war of words between Keller and KHR has ended and they now want to work together to change excessive wage structures.

DFL New Year reception Photo by Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

It looks as if the small hatchet has been buried between Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and DFB president Fritz Keller. A bit of a war of words had taken place when Keller had criticized player’s in the modern game for being too pretentious and saying that the need to show a lot more humility. He was also critical of the clubs that pay some of their star players incredibly lucrative wages, taking somewhat of an indirect shot at Bayern because of the amount of players they have on high wages compared to other teams in the Bundesliga. Rummenigge fired back by saying the DFB shouldn’t be anyone to call anyone else pretentious and that they should focus on the wrongdoings within the DFB itself.

Per a new report by kicker, Keller and Rummenigge have settled their minor strife and are now ready to work together to try and work on reform of excessive salaries in the Bundesliga. In a remote media roundup, Keller said he spoke with Rummenigge and they both agree that changes need to be made: “There are absurd salaries and transfer fees that are no longer credible. We have to talk about salary caps. I am glad that I agree with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on this.” He also said that his comments about wages were not meant to be directed at “any single Bayern player.”

Keller also went on to say that the only way they can successfully try to change the excessive salary structures, is by going through the European Football Union (UEFA). He wants there to be stricter regulations in accordance with financial fair play that rewards clubs for being in a good standing in previous seasons. That way, good behavior would be rewarded while the contrary would be punished more sternly: “In the end, there must be a regulation that conforms to European law and that also applies to Great Britain. It must be rewarded to those who have done well in the past.” In full context, it’s worth remembering that both Rummenigge and former Bayern president Uli Hoeness have always been critical of excessive fees in the transfer market, which is one of the major topics of concern for clubs that breach FFP regulations. They’ve always wanted reformations to be looked at.

UEFA Congress Photo by Lukas Schulze - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

In another potential possibility, Bavarian Football Work’s own Phillip Quin brought up the idea of the Bundesliga potentially utilizing a luxury tax that they use in Major League Baseball as a potential solution to the wage issues. To quote him directly from our Slack channel, the tax is in place so that “if you spend more than x amount on salaries for your team, then you will pay x% toward a pool that gets distributed to lower teams.”

Essentially, this is another method to help lessen the large financial gaps between clubs that could benefit a league like the Bundesliga, especially in the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic that took huge financial tolls on some of the smaller clubs. This could at least potentially be used as a short term solution as clubs fight back from the coronavirus even though tax laws are different in Germany and North America. In a way, it could provide a larger some of funds for clubs in need in a similar principal to the funds that were allocated from Champions League television rights from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, and Bayer Leverkusen when it was uncertain when matches would resume during the pandemic. They money got used up quicker than anticipated.