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Bayern Munich legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hopes for more rationality with footballer’s salaries

Rummenigge is opposed to how inflated wage structures have become for superstars across Europe and wants to put an end to that trend.

“FC Bayern - Behind the Legend” Premiere In Munich Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images

With all of the advancements from the modernization of football and the footballing world has also come an underlying side effect of money speaking the loudest. Billionaire investors for clubs across Europe have become more commonplace within the past decade and finances for said clubs seem to become more and more limitless, stealthily skirting above the rules and regulations of financial fair play. Former Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has, on numerous occasions, expressed his concern with the way that player’s salaries at various clubs have become astronomically high, saying that it’s incredibly damaging to the integrity of the sport itself and the culture that comes with it.

Recently speaking at the “People in Europe” lecture series of the “Passauer Neue Presse,” Rummenigee reaffirmed his concerns about the ever-growing wage structure across European football and called for “a little more rationality” (az). Just weeks ago, Newcastle United were taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, becoming the latest club to have been invested in by billionaire groups. Most notably, Manchester City’s Emirati and Paris Saint-Germain’s Qatari ownership have come under a great deal of criticism from outsiders, especially in the Bundesliga, where the 50+1 model is still followed and adhered to. The Bundesliga does have clubs that have essentially circumvented the 50+1 rules, but by in large, the league is very much ensuring that majority of any club’s shares are publicly owned for and by the fans

“I think it’s not a good way if only teams can be successful Billionaires or states owned,” Rummenigge said. Neymar’s €222 million transfer to PSG from Barcelona back in the summer of 2017 set a benchmark for absurdly high transfer fees to come and since then, we’ve seen a handful of transfers exceed €100 million, when at one point, not long ago, that used to be a rarity. Most recently, Jack Grealish transferred to Manchester City from Aston Villa for €117.5 million, Romelu Lukaku transferred to Chelsea for €115 million, and in the 2019/20 season, both Antoine Griezmann and João Félix had joined Atletico Madrid for more than €120 million.

By stark contract, at Bayern, Lucas Hernandez is the record transfer fee of €80 million when he joined from Atletico Madrid in 2019, which had nearly doubled Corentin Tolisso’s transfer fee of €41.5 million from Olympique Lyon back in 2017. At this stage in the game, with the severe inflation of the transfer market and player’s salaries, Rummenigge feels that no one even really has a sense of rationality anymore. “No normal person understands that any more,” he commented.