Bundesliga weekly vol.5: DFL president rules out American playoffs system in the Bundesliga

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Christian Seifert
Photo courtesy of DFL

This week, the German football league (DFL) comprising the 36 professional clubs met to discuss pertinent issues relating to the league. Christian Seifert, the president of DFL, is the star of the moment. His comments on important issues have far-reaching consequences for the Bundesliga. Siefert appears twice in this Piece, and Serge Gnabry “inherits” the number 7 jersey at Bayern Munich.

DFL president rules out American playoffs system in the Bundesliga

DFL president, Christian Seifert, in a discussion with German paper Bild on ways to make the Bundesliga competitive, dismissed introducing American playoffs in the Bundesliga as practiced in ice hockey or basketball, “As far as the Bundesliga is concerned: Play-offs are the wrong approach. Because they only work in closed systems without promotion and relegation. There are other competitive models in Europe, but that’s not the point we are at in Germany to discuss this,”, he said.

At its core, the Bundesliga is exciting, but the clubs need to be innovative on ways and means to increase competition. There is the argument that equal distribution of TV money to all the 36 clubs in the Bundesliga will lead to a fair competition at the top. Seifert believes it will not change the status quo,” equal TV money for all does not lead to a more exciting competition at the top.”

Money, discipline and luck are the key dynamics needed to be champions of the Bundesliga. Sadly, these core components are variable and not dispersed. Anybody who thinks otherwise must have a quixotic approach on how things work. There will always be clubs with extra competitive power, while others struggle to stay afloat. The balancing act of meaning and relevance for the clubs remains grabbing opportunity when it surfaces, and a hardworking ethic.

Christian Seifert and the clubs see no distortion of competition in the Bundesliga

The German word on most Bundesliga enthusiasts’ mind during the week was-Wettbewerbsverzerrung (distortion of competition). The argument goes that because some clubs will have more home fans over others when the Bundesliga resumes, it would lead to unfair advantage. A proponent of this hypothesis is Joerg Schmadtke, managing director of Wolfsburg, “It makes a difference if a club has 10,000 or 15,000 spectators in the stadium and other clubs have 500. Then there is no longer a competitive equality”, he said in Sportbuzzer.

Seifert addressed the issue and informed journalists that the discrepancies in spectators does not automatically lead to distortion of competition. He prefers a uniform federal regulation on spectators, but various states and regions have different criteria on how to control and monitor the spread of Covid-19.

Seifert favours an angst free approach to combat Covid-19, but a malleable solution from health officials and politicians is miles away. In the interim, many clubs are preparing their hygiene concepts that will meet the criteria of DFL and local health officials for the eventual return of fans.

Serge Gnabry “inherits” the number 7 jersey at Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich announced that Serge Gnabry will wear the number 7 jersey as from the coming season. He departs from number 22 jersey. In football, the number 7 jersey is one of the highly coveted, like the number 10. Franck Ribéry was the last player who played with the number 7 jersey until they retired it.

In a statement released by Bayern, Gnabry expressed his joy to wear the number 7 jersey next season.

Other players in Bayern who wore the number 7 in the past are Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Mehmet Scholl and Hansi Flick

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