The Bundesliga will begin a new season in September for 2020/2021. The recently concluded season despite the threats of Covid-19 has changed the dynamics of the game. The DFL (Deutsche Fußball Liga) approach to conclude the games last season faced criticisms from a cross section of the public.
Thanks to luck, organisation and good hygiene concepts instituted by the clubs, we have a new normal. The novel approach and the can-do mentality highly praised among German saved the day. Interestingly, other leagues around the world looked up to the Bundesliga’s approach as a test case for the impact of organised football with Covid-19 lurking around the corner.
Fans could return to stadiums soon.
The next phase for clubs is the return of fans to watch live games. Without fans, it is like snow without white. This week, the 36 professional clubs came up with a plan for fans to experience the beautiful game. The plan in a nutshell entails, personalised tickets, no alcohol served in the stadiums, no standing sections and no away fans until the end of October. The plan is subject to the approval of local politicians and health officials.
Christian Seifert who is the boss of DFL emphasised at a press conference that, “The priority in Germany at the moment is not full stadiums. The priority is the health of people,”.
I welcome the baby steps approach of the clubs to bring back fans, but one thing is clear: because of covid-19, the proximity of fans to their teams has taken a hit.
Hoeness questions the BVB model
In an interview with FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Uli Hoeness, the honorary president of Bayern Munich, took a swipe at arch rival Borussia Dortmund. He questioned the policy of BVB developing young talents and then sell them as unwise, “How can a player soak up a club’s DNA if he feels he’s a commodity?”
His statement did not go unanswered by Dortmund officials. Sport director, Michael Zorc, replied, “I find the statements rather arrogant, but some of them are factually incorrect. If you have 250 million euros more in your pocket every year, you can stink with your pants full.” A reference to Bayern’s financial potency.
Ex Dortmund goalkeeper, Roman Weidenfeller added a twist in his reaction, “There seems to be a deep-seated frustration that Jude Bellingham has decided against the Bavarians and for the BVB.”
Hoeness does not shy aware from controversy, and he makes the Bundesliga exciting with his snide remarks. He is famous for his abteilung attacke (Department of attack).
Fact is, Bayern lost Jordan Sancho and Jude Bellingham at the last minute because both players see more prospects in Dortmund than Munich. The BVB model has brought diversity and dynamism in the Bundesliga. Without it, who would have heard of players like Ousmane Dembélé or Pierre-Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang? BVB have in their arsenal players like Erling Haaland, Giovanni Reyna, and Youssoufa Moukoko. All hungry for fame.
Bayern needs competition from other clubs in the league so they do not get complacent in their planning. But as long as they have more resources at their disposal, I do not see their dominance in the Bundesliga ending soon.
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