In an interview with kicker (as transcribed by Abendzeitung), when asked about the fight for the title in the new Bundesliga season and Bayern’s dominance, Watzke said that while the clubs’ role is to ensure that the role of favorites doesn’t result in a title again, everyone is responsible for themselves and shouldn’t try form a ‘cartel’ against Bayern.
”At the end of the day, they decide that for themselves. And they will fight against it with all their might,” he said, speaking on Bayern’s grit in the title challenge.
The 63-year-old describes Bayern’s transfers this summer as ‘ambitious’, particularly citing that of Sadio Mané’s transfer from Liverpool. “Publicly, strikers are more and more in focus than defenders. That was the case with (Robert) Lewandowski and (Erling) Haaland, that will be the case with Mané – even if de Ligt was significantly more expensive. In any case, they are all good for the league,” Watzke said, explaining the importance of number 9 players in the current market.
Watzke has nothing but praise for Bayern Munich in the department of foreign marketing, in particular, the yearly summer tours. One of the several woes of Bundesliga is the underdeveloped foreign markets, especially in areas like North America and Asia. “If we want to increase our foreign revenues sustainably and to a significant extent, then we can’t avoid showing our presence,” he declared.
The abolition of the 50 + 1 rule remains a taboo for Hans-Joachim Watzke, who opposes CEO Oliver Kahn’s idea to opening the Bundesliga to investors in order to enhance competitiveness.
Watzke described this to be “incomprehensible” and “not stringent.” While he can understand that Bayern would like stronger competition from other clubs, he thinks there’s a better way to go about than to accept investors.
“Thank god, football in Germany is still cemented. Nobody has been able to disprove me that a 50+1 club can be just as successful. Even if some people laugh at it when I call Real Madrid a 50+1 club.”
Watzke also called on the German clubs to leave their comfort zone in order to ensure international competitiveness in the long term. ”In Germany it won’t work in the long run if we get comfortable too quickly,” said Watzke. “Not in business. Not in everyday life. And not in football either. We have to fight against that.”
What do you think is the future of the Bundesliga? Is foreign investment the way ahead or is the 50+1 just as sustainable? Let us know in the comments.