After Bayern Munich battled to victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB-Pokal, Thomas Müller raised eyebrows with a remark at the end of his post-game interview. Asked about potential transfers, Müller said it was “a little paradoxical when you’re always talking about new signings and at the same time wages are being cut.”
That got tongues wagging — are Müller and potentially other Bayern stars angry about “voluntary” salary cuts?
Now Müller has cleared the air in a video post:
Neither this “internal dispute” that has been written about over salary cuts with respect to potential transfers in the summer exists at FC Bayern. We forewent our wages for completey different reasons, namely, for our associates.
Nor was this opinion that I allegedly expressed in the interview after the Pokal game on Wednesday correctly interpreted. It was, as usual, provocatively interpreted by the media so as to push a story.
My statement was actually in response to the fact that I was annoyed to be asked about transfers next season after a Pokal semifinal. And what bothers me about it the most is that the media acts as if these top transfers, which we absolutely need, can be pulled with a snap of the fingers, as if 100 million or 50 million are nothing - and that in the times in which we find ourselves currently. That is being skillfully ignored by the media again and again when questions are asked about transfers that will take place in the future.
Personally, I want the best possible roster next season. I have big goals, I want to win the Champions League, I want us to really attack, to continue this momentum that we currently have. And accordingly it is important for us at FC Bayern, as our sporting director said yesterday, that we do not talk about transfers anymore and not play along in this game in which we perhaps easily let the media drag us, and look laidback into the future.
So stay healthy and especially relaxed. Servus!
Media discussion of Müller’s statement
The statement provoked some Twitter discussion among the German journalists who cover Bayern Munich. TZ’s Jonas Austermann praised it as a “strong statement” but confessed he was bothered by the fact that Müller blamed “the media” broadly rather than the specific journalist and publications who misinterpreted his statement.
That prompted a reply from Bild’s Heiko Niedderer in defense of the transfer question. Isn’t it fair to ask occasionally about transfers, Niedderer argues, after the sporting director says “We want to reinforce ourselves with a top talent from Europe and also bring an international star to Munich?”
Austermann: “Of course! But it’s not about “occasionally” but rather particularly about the moment — after a Pokal fight. And I’m more concerned that “the media” are always the bad guys. Müller should just say who exactly is bothering him...”
Niedderer found further excuses: journalists have so very few moments to ask the stars questions, and the question came at the end, and Müller also could have simply said, “Now is not the time to talk about transfers.”
Bild colleague Tobias Altschäffl also chimed in, arguing that the question has at least generated discussion on the team: “No matter to whom Thomas Müller’s statement after the Pokal game in Frankfurt was addressed,” he wrote, “it has prompted discussion on the team about the salary cut and where exactly the money saved is going.”
Altschäffl may be reaching there: if Müller is sure of anything, it was that the money cut from his and his teammates salaries was going toward Bayern’s employees who were unable to work during the crisis. He makes that clear in his statement itself.