In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, former Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was asked about the financial scandal that has gripped Italian football and Juventus over the last few months. In case you’re out of the loop, Juve president Andrea Agnelli allegedly hid over 200m euros in losses through false accounting and inflated capital gains, which eventually led to the entire board’s resignation last December followed by a 15 point deduction in Serie A.
Rummenigge was shocked by the scale of the scandal, as captured by Football Italia:
“I couldn’t believe what Juventus have done, I’ve never heard something similar in my life.”
“Juventus are a top club in Italy and Europe but they have scored an incredible own goal. I am sure they’ll be able to rebuild again at the right time.”
This investigation could have repercussions for Bayern too, as defender Matthijs de Ligt faces a potential 30-day ban from football thanks to accepting illegal salary payments during the pandemic. More on that story can be found here.
Anyway, Rummenigge accuses these clubs — Juventus, FC Barcelona, and Real Madrid — of pushing the European Super League narrative in order to hide their losses. His rebuttal was scathing.
“It’s not a coincidence that it was an idea of three clubs with enormous liquidity problems.”
“Now the Super League proposal is to include 80 clubs and not 20 but football can’t afford such a radical change. What needs to be changed quickly is the Financial Fair Play, which must be stricter. Clubs are constantly under pressure from fans and media who demand to spend a lot of money, but football is the only industry that causes losses.”
While Bayern Munich remain financially healthy, it seems like they are the exception among big clubs in Europe right now. With Manchester City being investigated for serious breaches by the Premier League and Chelsea spending like there’s no tomorrow, one has to wonder what the financial landscape of European football will be like in a few years time.