Bundesliga chief backs talk of European Super League

2013 Champions League winners Bayern Munich, Germany's wealthiest club, generated �474m last season. Picture: Getty

2013 Champions League winners Bayern Munich, Germany's wealthiest club, generated �474m last season. Picture: Getty

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The head of the Bundesliga welcomed discussions about revamping the Champions League yesterday, seeing a potential European Super League as beneficial for 
German clubs.

It was reported last week that the European Club Association is discussing whether to lobby Uefa to turn Europe’s elite competition into an American-style league that could remove the need for leading clubs to qualify.

Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert said it is important for the future of football that clubs and Uefa discuss ways of improving the competition through a “Champions League 2.0” or by creating a “Super League”, which has been talked about for years.

“If a Super League is really set up, and it’s done in a proper way, it can be something that helps the Bundesliga,” said Seifert. “Bayern (Munich) is very popular and Borussia (Dortmund) became very popular – and that shows how powerful the Champions League is… that lifts them on to a platform where people are watching and they have a lot of fans around the world.”

Seifert has not been involved in the talks, but the ECA is chaired by Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“If a Super League comes in the way you heard it and I heard it that could help our top league because of the brand recognition and brand awareness,” Seifert said.

“As with any other company in the world Uefa or the ECA has to think about what can be done better in the future.”

Seifert was speaking as the Bundesliga reported that the combined revenue of its 18 clubs rose by 7 per cent to $2.84 billion (£1.99bn) in the 2014-15 
season.

Bayern is Germany’s wealthiest club, generating €474 million (£362m) last season, and the Bavarian powerhouse is cruising to a fourth consecutive Bundesliga title.

Bayern have an eight-point lead over Dortmund with 16 games remaining. By contrast, the Premier League’s top five teams are separated by ten points and Leicester, who have never lifted the trophy, are the front-runners.

Downplaying the threat posed by England, Seifert maintained: “The most unpredictable league of all European top leagues is the Bundesliga.”

Seifert contends that focusing on the title-winner – and Bayern’s stranglehold on the trophy – is a fixation “very much driven by US sports where you only have one Super Bowl winner.

“When it comes to European football it is about all areas of the league,” Seifert said. “Especially last year we saw very competitive games to decide who will play in the Champions League, who will play in the Europa League or relegation.

“The dominance issue of Bayern Munich is a less important issue from our perspective than maybe sometimes in the media… you don’t have 43,000 people per game on average if people feel it’s not interesting enough.”

In the pursuit of international television viewers, the 
Premier League is the dominant force.

England’s television contracts for 2016-19 are set to generate around $13bn (£9.1m)internationally, with domestic rights already selling for $7.6 billion (£5.32m).

“The TV contract most of all reflects the buying power of national media companies (Sky and BT in Britain) and not so much the strength of the league,” Seifert said.

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