German clubs turn on Bayern after secret deal with Kirch


FRANKFURT: Germany's professional football clubs on Tuesday gave their resounding backing to sanctions taken by the German football league (DFL) against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich over a secret deal with KirchMedia. 

Bayern, who were forced to pay three million euros (US$3.2 million) in compensation to the DFL over the deal, are refusing to co-operate with the league after their behaviour was described as “morally reprehensible.” 

But 35 clubs present during the DFL general assembly here, which was boycotted by Bayern, unanimously approved the punishment meted out on the 17-time national champions for the 21.5m euros under-the-counter payments the club received from KirchMedia between 2000 and 2002. 

The Bayern tie up with Kirch, which at the time held all the media rights to the Bundesliga, was signed in 1999. 

It was due to run until the 2004/05 season but was stopped prematurely last December following the firm's bankruptcy the previous April. 

“This vote of unanimous confidence shows that what Bayern is doing is not acceptable,” said Wolfgang Holzhauser, director general of 2002 German league runners-up Bayer Leverkusen. 

Bochum president Werner Altegoer slammed Bayern's action. 

“Bayern needs the DFL and not the other way around. Bayern's decision to withdraw doesn't scare us,” said Altegoer. 

Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge resigned on Monday from the German national team working group over the row. 

DFL president Werner Hackmann has been authorised to get in contact with Bayern bosses in order to find a solution to their differences. 

“The DFL should represent all clubs,” said Hackmann. “I'm optimistic that all 36 clubs will once again in the future be sitting around the same table.  

“I don't believe in the scenario whereby Bayern will leave the Bundesliga,” he said. – AFP 

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