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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Bayern domination threatens Bundesliga: league boss

AFP , Monday 20 Mar 2017
Bayern Munich
Bayern's Thomas Mueller, 3rd from left, reacts to his team after he scored the opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayern Munich in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Sunday, March 19, 2017. (Photo:AP)
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Bayern Munich's domination threatens the Bundesliga's reputation and their rivals must show more ambition in order to close the gap, the German Football League (DFL) boss has warned.

Bayern's 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday left the reigning German champions 13 points clear of second-placed RB Leipzig with just nine games left.

Barring an unlikely collapse it is just a matter of time before a fifth consecutive league title caps coach Carlo Ancelotti's first season in charge.

"We are addicted to the feeling of winning, we are greedy and want to continue on our path," Thomas Mueller said after hitting Bayern's winner in Gladbach.

That worries Christian Seifert, the CEO of the DFL, who is trying to promote the league abroad.

"It is clear, and you can not blame Munich for this, but if FC Bayern are champions a few more times in a row that would not be very conducive to the perception of the competition abroad," Seifert told magazine Kicker.

"In England, at the start of the season five clubs set themselves the goal of winning the title. In Italy, it's three. In Spain, it's two.

"In Germany, none of the 17 clubs talk about giving chase (to Bayern) and that has to change at some point."

In January, Seifert similarly addressed Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German league, warning that the growth off the pitch of the Bundesliga would be in jeopardy if Bayern's trophy haul continues to gather pace.

Borussia Dortmund, the last team other than Bayern to win the league, back in 2012, are currently third and 16 points off the leaders.

With Leipzig's challenge imploding in recent weeks Bayern look set to storm away with the league title once again.

They are also in the Champions League quarter-finals, having drawn Real Madrid in the tie of the round, and in the German Cup semi-finals, putting them on course to repeat their 2013 treble.

Bayern, Germany's richest club and with a 54-million-euro ($58m) profit in the 2015/16 season, for the last 30 years have hoovered up the best new talent in Germany, weakening their rivals in the process.

Ominously, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says the Bundesliga's gap between rich and poor will only grow.

"The scissors cutting the gap between the rich and poor don't work anymore," he said.

"Since the Bosman ruling (when players can leave their club for free when their contracts run out), the gap has grown wider.

"One should not be so naive to believe that at some point you don't need so much money in club football.

"You need it to buy players with the quality like we have in our squad."

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