Thanks to the win against Bayer Leverkusen, FC Bayern Munich is about to defend its Bundesliga title. The fuss about the planned and now collapsing Super League came in handy for the club in two respects.
Shortly before the team line-ups at home games of FC Bayern Munich are read out by the stadium announcer in the Allianz Arena, the same image film is always shown on the two video walls. So also before the duel with Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday evening. Underlaid with dramatic music, one saw great moments in the club’s history. Oliver Kahn’s decisive parade on penalties in the 2001 Champions League finals, for example, and cheers from the triumph twelve years later.
The Champions League: European clubs don’t imagine anything anymore, nothing is bigger than this competition. At least that was the thought until twelve top clubs announced that they would be bigger and would rather play in a so-called Super League instead of the Champions League. In doing so, they kindled a fire in European football that suited FC Bayern pretty well in two respects.
First of all, there is the obvious reason. Like their Bundesliga rival Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern did not participate in the Super League. On the one hand, he saved himself the wave of protests that broke out over the other clubs and already forced some to give up, and on the other hand, together with UEFA, he suddenly found himself on the side of the supposed keepers of the grail of football in the international picture.
“FC Bayern are in solidarity with the Bundesliga,” announced CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a press release that was sent a few hours before the game against Leverkusen kicked off. This is exactly what has been questioned by many protagonists and observers at the national level for years, especially when it comes to the distribution of TV money.
How FC Bayern benefits from the Super League plans
Without having to do anything but watch and articulate your own disinterest, the gigantonomy of the self-proclaimed Super League clubs now automatically helps the international image of the non-participating FC Bayern. Rummenigge even gave her a new post: The 65-year-old replaces the outgoing Juventus Turin president and Super League driver Andrea Agnelli on the UEFA Executive Committee.
Why did the flaming European football come in handy for FC Bayern? Because it distracts from one’s own fire, which has been blazing for weeks on the club grounds on Säbener Strasse and suddenly looks pretty small in comparison. With all the Super League vortex of the past few days, you could almost forget it, so again as a reminder: It’s about the dispute between sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Hansi Flick.
The fire threw the highest flame so far only four days ago after the 3-2 win against VfL Wolfsburg. Without prior consultation with the club bosses, Flick made his request for early termination of his contract, which actually ran until 2023, public this summer, which FC Bayern “disapproved” the next day in a press release.
Yes, the club is currently sending out a lot of press releases. The last time there was a similar density was last October, when Salihamidzic Flick got a few players for the squad width shortly before the end of the transfer phase and presented them to the public. By the way, their quality is one of the numerous chips that kindled the internal fire in Bavaria.
And that after the title race suddenly seemed a bit open again less than two weeks ago due to aggravating conditions: FC Bayern messed up against Union Berlin, then failed dramatically in the Champions League quarter-finals at Paris Saint-Germain, suffered from an almost grotesque one Injury and illness series as well as the fire in the background.
Flick and Salihamidzic clapped each other
Leon Goretzka added: “The whole constellation with Hansi simply motivates us to play the football that we have shown for the last 18 months in the remaining games, to win more games and to treat this time with a worthy farewell.”
The win against Leverkusen was a big step towards this worthy farewell. After the final whistle, Flick stood at the center line and hugged each of his players, around five meters behind Salihamidzic clapped everyone. By the way, while they were hugging and clapping, another press release arrived: Manchester City was the first Super League club to surrender to the fire they had set themselves, others followed.