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Oliver Kahn outlines strategies to bridge the Bundesliga’s financial disparity with the English Premier League

The Bundesliga has a lot of work to do to financially bridge the gap with England’s Premier League.

FC Bayern München v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Even before the coronavirus pandemic plagued the globe, a financial gap has always existed between the Bundesliga and the Premier League, at least in modern times. The ever-growing commercialization and globalization of England’s top flight has far exceeded the growth of any of the other top five European League and the pandemic only made the gap bigger between the Bundesliga and Premier League.

Even with proper planning, proactive decision making, and thorough safety protocols enforced from the DFL and DFB to ensure that the Bundesliga was the first major sporting league to resume action in May 2020, even bigger German clubs like Bayern Munich felt the financial losses caused by the pandemic and the lack of fans in grounds

In a recent Tz television series entitled “Mia San Mia — how FC Bayern combines tradition and future,” Oliver Kahn spoke about the aforementioned financial disparities between Germany and England’s top flights. “Currently, the annual income from the international TV contracts of the Bundesliga is less than 150 million euros a year — the Premier League rakes in more than 2 billion in the same period. A landslide-like imbalance has arisen here, and the Bundesliga needs solutions to reduce this huge difference again,” he explained.

For Kahn, he feels that Bayern’s excellent track record of finding lucrative sponsorships will help in bridging the gap, as they’re one of the top European clubs in the world at forming said partnerships. “In terms of sponsorship, we are among the top three in the football world. We will continue to expand this position in the future on the basis of our global appeal,” he said.

Traditional “Lederhosen-Shooting” at FC Bayern Munich Photo by Lennart Preiss/picture alliance via Getty Images

Kahn is ready to spearhead the efforts after stepping into the CEO position at a difficult time, coinciding with the start of the outbreak of the pandemic. Additionally, there was added pressure since he was taking over for one of the most successful periods in Bayern’s history led by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (former CEO) and Uli Hoeness (former president), who both still sit on the club’s supervisory board. From 2011-2021, the club won a total of 26 titles during that run while they were at their helms, so to speak.

Kahn has recently made it clear that he wants to start getting more closely involved with transfer matters and contract matters at the club. The transfer mark, and navigating through it in a smart, calculated manner is another facet that Kahn feels will help Bayern and the Bundesliga bridge the financial gap to the Premier League, at least in certain intervals. He said that he wants there to be “clever and efficient action on the transfer market: This also includes the constant further development of our youth work.”

FC Bayern Munich - Training Camp in Portugal Photo by Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images