Heribert Bruchhagen, the former CEO of Eintracht Frankfurt and Hamburger SV, criticized the lack of tension in the Bundesliga in clear terms. FC Bayern Munich no longer has any serious competitors in the race for the German championship.
“When you see the Bundesliga product, you feel a bit uncomfortable,” Bruchhagen warned in an interview sports1. “When I look at the table, it seems as if the championship will soon be decided.”
FC Bayern has now won the German championship ten times in a row and, after a dominant start in the 2022/23 season, is also leading the table after three matchdays. The competition from Dortmund, Leverkusen or Leipzig, on the other hand, is weakening. Although Bruchhagen expects this trio to be up there again at the end of the season, “They are not competitors for Bayern. Unfortunately, you have to say that.”
Nevertheless, the 73-year-old emphasized that the fascination for football continues – with a big but: “The football experience is still great, there is a fight for international places and the relegation battle is always exciting. But you have to get the point Check off the championship. It doesn’t exist anymore.”
Bruchhagen dismissed the claim that Bayern would destroy the Bundesliga. “We can even be proud of having such a club,” he said instead. “But thanks to Bayern Munich’s good work, a problem we introduced ourselves is becoming more and more relevant. And the gap to the other clubs isn’t getting smaller, it’s bigger. That’s really sad.”
Bundesliga: “The icing on the cake no longer exists”
“This development is nothing new for me and I have been concerned about it for many years,” Bruchhagen continued. “It is only logical that this development is becoming more and more pronounced. Since the funds were redistributed in 1992, the notorious gap has been getting wider and wider.”
And Bruchhagen went on to explain what he believes to be the self-made problems in the Bundesliga: “We made the decisions to spread the television money and also accepted that the international TV money was distributed directly and less came into a common pool. As a result, the polluters have become much stronger and continue to consolidate their position. The decision was made twelve years ago. Now one or the other expert and manager is suddenly discovering this problem. And the fans too.”
According to Bruchhagen, the result is that FCB will continue to dominate the domestic league. Only “classic wrong decisions in the sporting area” of Bayern could still change something, but that is unlikely, since “the best people” would make the decisions at Bayern.
That’s why resignation is spreading at Bruchhagen: “One increasingly has the feeling that the opponent’s players no longer believe they can win at all. It’s bad now that the competitors are also stuck in a first small crisis. (.. .) I can only repeat myself: The fascination with football remains, but the icing on the cake no longer exists.”