It ruins the competitiveness of the league and means rivals have to spend seasons rebuilding, just to get what they’ve built robbed from them by Bayern. So how big of a problem is this and can it be fixed?
Bayern Continue to Kill Off Competition to Stay Ahead
Bayern Have Been Doing This for Years to the Competition
In the 2001/02 season, Bayern finished 3rd. Highly disappointing considering they’d won both the league and the Champions League the season before. Their response was to raid 2nd place Bayern Leverkusen for two of their stars. Ze Roberto and Michael Ballack both switched to Munich and it worked a treat as they convincingly won the league by 16 points. Leverkusen on the other hand, just avoided relegation down in 15th, a massive drop off to an exciting rival caused by a Munich shopping trip.
Mario Gomez scored 57 goals for Stuttgart between 2006-2009. A spell in which they beat Bayern to the title in 2006/07. Munich won just one title in this spell and was struggling for dominance. They signed Gomez for £22.5 million in 2009 and Stuttgart have not threatened for the title ever since, dropping out of the Bundesliga twice. This is another example of how Bayern Munich continue to kill off competition.
The Dortmund Raid
On the eve of the Champions League final in 2013, instead of looking forward to the match, Borussia Dortmund fans were sent into despair. Promising star Mario Gotze, missing the final through injury, announced his move to rivals Bayern Munich. His new club ended up beating an unsettled Borussia Dortmund side 2-1 and completing a treble.
In the previous two seasons, Dortmund had won the Bundesliga both times but Gotze’s move to Bayern started their invasion on Dortmund’s star-studded line-up.
Robert Lewandowski followed Gotze in the summer of 2014 and Dortmund slipped to 7th in the league. Just as Dortmund returned to challenge Bayern, they stole World Cup winner Mats Hummels which caused Dortmund again to fall behind. Whenever Bayern’s Der Klassiker rivals have caused them trouble, they have simply gone and bought their best player the following transfer window. Something like this would be impossible for Liverpool to do to Everton or Real Madrid to do to Barcelona regularly.
Signing Players Just to Stop Other Clubs
Bayern has sometimes signed players just to stop rivals from signing them even though they don’t fit into their squad. Sebastian Rudy joined on a free from Hoffenheim but was used mainly as a squad player and left after a year looking like a much worse player than the one that joined in 2017. Bayern was stacked in midfield at the time and signing Rudy was a strange decision.
The signing of Alexander Nubel in 2020 is another example of this. Nubel had become Schalke’s first choice keeper and captain but chose to join Bayern despite the fact he would obviously be the second choice there behind Manuel Neuer. At 23, Nubel was relatively young for a goalkeeper and surely would’ve been offered a bigger role at a better club than Schalke. Bayern signed him to stop him from becoming a star at another club and maybe when Neuer leaves if he’s still around, he may become Neuer’s replacement.
Players Want To Join Bayern Munich
This is a clear problem in German football but there’s simply nothing the authorities can do. Bayern can offer more money to sellers, higher wages to clubs, and guarantee players a shot at winning the Champions League. No other German club can consistently achieve what Bayern can and joining them instantly gives players a chance to win multiple trophies each season. Accolades in the Bundesliga also don’t get dismissed as easily as Paris Saint- Germain‘s do because the quality of the league is respected. Joining Bayern is a great chance for players to build a legacy full of trophies and become a footballing legend. No one is going to turn that down, so Munich gets the Bundesliga’s best each window.
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