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Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

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Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby Jorge » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:29 pm

We debate a lot in this forum about Bayern buying international superstars and some with good reasons claim it is the only way to challenge Man U, Chelsea, Madrid, Inter, Juventus, Barcelona, Leverpool or Milan. Some like myself believe Bayern must remain faithful to its roots with a ballanced mix of German Nationals with European and some other influx from different parts of the world, and even should preserve a good presence of Bavarian in the roster. This article below covers good grounds on this subject:


Seeking solace in - Germany!
By Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger

Updated: August 1, 2008, 11:13 AM ET

The other day I received an e-mail from Amazon. Hoping they might happily inform me about the fact that one of my books has cracked the top 1000 in some category or other, I actually opened the message instead of deleting it immediately.

Of course it was just another of those recommendations they pester you with. You know what I mean, right? Things like: Since you bought 'Give The Anarchist A Cigarette' by Mick Farren, you might also be interested in this here book by Allen Carr.

Anyway, this time around the mail reminded me I had once ordered 'The Best American Sports Writing 2003' from Amazon, whereupon they now alerted me to the fact that someone called Chuck Culpepper (not a pseudonym, it seems) has published a book by the title of 'Bloody Confused!: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer'.

If you have too much free time on your hands, you sometimes click on links. That's what I did now, and it got me to the page with the product description. It began thus: 'Chuck Culpepper was a veteran sports journalist edging toward burnout... then he went to London and discovered the high-octane, fanatical (and bloody confusing!) world of English soccer.'

According to this blurb, Mr. Culpepper was fairly disillusioned about US sports and 'fed up with [its] self-righteous proclamations, steroid scandals, and the deluge of in-your-face PR'. And so he went to England and immersed himself in the Premier League.

Huh?

Granted, I'm not aware of steroid scandals in England, but if you simply delete 'steroid' from the quote above, then a German football fan could be forgiven for thinking poor Mr Culpepper fell out of the frying-pan and right smack into the fire.

Among the hardcore of German supporters, there is a growing aversion to English football, the model we once all aspired to in terms of fan culture and social significance. And it's precisely because of those things that drove Mr Culpepper out of the US: the rampant commercialism, the otherworldly wages, the relentless hype, the inflated egos, all that issuing of basically nothing but hot air.

Then I got to the final paragraph of the product description, which includes this line: 'Culpepper brings penetrating insight to the vibrant landscape of English soccer-visiting such storied franchises as Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool.'

At first, I found 'storied franchises' pretty funny. It's such a dyed-in-the-wool American expression and seems so out of place anywhere else. The Red Sox and the Yankees are storied franchises, yes. The Braves are a storied franchise, having begun life in Boston before arriving in Atlanta via Milwaukee because, well, franchises do move with the market.

But in European football, you surely don't have franchises. Or do you? Actually, on second thought, I didn't find the term that misplaced anymore. Because perhaps the biggest gripe of the German fans as regards the Premier League is that English clubs are now brands rather than, er, clubs.

The fact that there are individuals who own English football clubs didn't really register with the majority of Germans until the last couple of years and the confusing deluge of takeover bids. Sure, it made headlines over here when Elton John took over Watford in the mid-70s, but I don't think any of us kids really understood that the jolly fellow had actually bought the club hook, line and sinker and might have, given a bit of wheeling and dealing, tied a knot around the whole shebang in order to schlep it to Milton Keynes.

We didn't really get this, just as the average fan didn't get that Alan Sugar owned Spurs pretty much like he owned Amstrad back when Jürgen Klinsmann moved to London. And that's because, despite so many outward similarities, German football was, and still is, run very differently.

I guess it's just that people presume their way of doing things is the norm everywhere. Thus the guy who wrote the blurb for the Culpepper book felt that United and Liverpool must be 'storied franchises'. Thus we kids and teenagers presumed that Elton John and Alan Sugar must be men like the patrons we knew from Germany, rich people who gifted their favourite clubs a lot of money out of benevolence, vanity or both.

And thus I repeatedly have the same kinds of problems when writing for English publications - meaning that, depending on the topic, I often have to waste lines and lines of valuable copy simply to lay the groundwork for readers who erroneously presuppose German football is run like English football.

Just last month I did something for an English Sunday paper about the rise of Hoffenheim. As you'll know from an earlier column, said rise is primarily due to the entrepreneur Dietmar Hopp sinking some 100million Euros into a club that was playing in an even lower division than Watford were when Elton John stepped in.

The paper was keen on that story for two reasons. The first was that rich people taking over clubs is currently a hotly debated topic in England. And so I had to explain that Hopp taking over Hoffenheim was quite different from Abramovich taking over Chelsea or Gillett/Hicks taking over Liverpool.

I had to explain that, when Hopp got involved, all our clubs, even Bayern Munich, were public, multi-sports, non-profit organisations run by members. I had to explain that this has changed in part, but only in part, pointing out that even though some clubs have turned their professional football divisions into limited companies, these companies are owned by the parent club. Which, in turn, is owned by no-one and cannot be bought.

The second reason the paper wanted the Hoffenheim story is somewhat related to this aspect. There are many English fans, it seems, who have started a new trend: they boycott their own brands, sorry: clubs, and instead travel to Germany to watch Bundesliga football!

In July, the 'Daily Express' even predicted a 'Great Football Exodus' and portrayed a bunch of fans who have taken up watching their football in Nuremberg. One was quoted as saying: 'I used to go to Premier League games but it has become so corporate. There is a backlash against that.' Apart from the ticket prices and the atmosphere, he also lauded the Bundesliga because 'the grounds in Germany have terracing so you can stand and watch the game, just like the old days in England.'

Just like the old days, he said. I wonder if this guy, or one of his friends, will one day write a book about 'seeking solace in German soccer'. And send Chuck Culpepper a copy.
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Postby MUTU » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:07 pm

Cool article! I've read a few columns by Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger. He's a really good writer!
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Postby MrLinky » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:15 pm

Nice article , and so true . *thumbsup*

Where can I find more of this author , any links ?
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Postby FCBinNYC » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:59 pm

If you like his articles, I highly recommend his book, "Tor! The Story of German Football." I got it a few months ago and have already read it twice, it's so good. Lichtenberger is a Dortmund fan, so he's not always kind to Bayern, but he tries to be as objective as possible. There's just so many great stories in the book, and it really gives you a perspective on the current state of German football. Go get it now!
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Postby MrLinky » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:06 pm

FCBinNYC wrote:If you like his articles, I highly recommend his book, "Tor! The Story of German Football." I got it a few months ago and have already read it twice, it's so good. Lichtenberger is a Dortmund fan, so he's not always kind to Bayern, but he tries to be as objective as possible. There's just so many great stories in the book, and it really gives you a perspective on the current state of German football. Go get it now!



Kool , thanks !
I'll check it out , he seems like a great author .
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby Raphael Sanzio » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:01 pm

So, does this mean that the Bundesliga will become the next top league? I hope so. [-o< [-o<
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby reiniksrobis » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:01 pm

I think, that Bundesliga is already TOP3 league, and Serie A is not at TOP3. Bundesliga has loads of big teams, like HsV, Werder, Bayern, Schalke, Stuttgart, Bayer.
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby MrLinky » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:40 pm

I'm a Bayern and Germany fan but we all have to admit that the italian Serie A is still the nr 3 league and in front of the BL , but
I'm optimistic thats about to change in the coming years , it seems to me like finally the German clubs have understood that
they have work hard and invest first so they can be successful .
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby reiniksrobis » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:35 pm

But BL is 100000 times interesting than Serie A and there[BL] are attacking football. Most average goals per game.
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby MrLinky » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:50 pm

The "fact" that more goals are scored or that the league is more attractive doesnt mean a thing , Roma play the most attractive
football in Italy still its Inter who are the champions , Arsenal play the most attractive football in England and ManU are champions ,
Werder play the most attractive football in Germany and its Bayern who are champions , as much as I am a Germany/Bayern/BL
fan I have to be objective and admit that AT THE MOMENT 3 european leagues are simply better than the BL and you should do the same , the league coefficients also tell us the same . :|
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby Jorge » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:13 pm

League coefficients are unrelated to league rankings. League coefficients are based on club results within their Confederation's competitions only (in the case of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup). Based on this example Italy has 8 big teams, the rest that conforms Serie A are floaters, so these top 8 teams win a lot internationally, the rest are fillers. If you take the EPL or the BL it is more balanced from top to bottom. What separates bayern from Monchengladbach is less than what separates Milan from Livorno.

Based on League coefficients even The French League is ahead of the BL.

Nobody has a rock solid system that will outstand to determine a general accepted ranking, but IMO revenues and stadia attendance are the best indicators. In both of these aspects the German BL only trails the EPL and La Liga.

Serie A gets relegated by low stadia attendance (frequently we see matches in Roma or Turin played with half empty stadium) or the small teams have small venues, in the BL pretty much all teams have big venues and they are sold out. In revenues Serie A lost a lot of sponsorship deals due to corruption scandals in the last few years.
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby MrLinky » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:49 pm

You can always take different aspects and compare and discuss the qualities of each league , in Germany the atmosphere is better ,
th revenues are bigger and the attendance in the stadiums is bigger but if you take the aspect we were discussing (at least thats the aspect I meant ,
I dont know about the other user) which is the success in european competitions and the attractiveness it displays to football players (which is the
aspect that should matter because you cant expect a football player to move to Germany just because the atmosphere is so great and
there are so many people in the stadiums when he can move to Italy with the prospect of winning the CL/Uefa-Cup) the BL is trailing the Serie A.
The last time a german team was in the final was Leverkusen in 2002 , Milan won it twice in the last 5 years.
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby MrLinky » Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:34 pm

Another victory for Germany over England!

The Kaiser revels in Martin Jol's Bundesliga exploits
Franz Beckenbauer claimed another victory for German football over the English – the fact that Martin Jol is still in the Bundesliga.

Jol was jettisoned by Spurs last year just weeks into the season. But his replacement at White Hart Lane, Juande Ramos, has lead Tottenham to their worst start in 96 years as they remain winless and rooted to the foot of the Premier League.

Jol’s Hamburg team, meanwhile, are sitting proudly on top of the Bundesliga.

And that lead to German legend Beckenbauer giving his – admittedly tongue-in-cheek – opinion, where he said: “He [Jol] is doing a fantastic job at Hamburg. Your loss, if you like, is our gain. It’s another huge victory for German football over you English!”

And to be fair, ‘The Kaiser’ has a point…
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby MUTU » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:07 pm

The German Bundesliga appears set to remain closed to foreign takeovers following a meeting of league officials on Thursday.

The board of the German Football League (DFL) met in response to calls to change a rule which prevents external investors from owning over 50% of any one club.

The rule, known as the '50+1 rule', ensures all German clubs remain the sole property of their own holding company.

With a maximum of 49% available to external investors, this effectively rules out the foreign takeovers which have become commonplace in the English Premier League.

Hannover and Bayern Munich are reportedly among a number of Bundesliga clubs urging the DFL to relax their stance, but the league's board members on Thursday recommended the rule remain unaltered.

"This decision has been taken after a very intense discussion," said DFL president Dr Reinhard Rauball. "The Bundesliga thrives on its stability and balance. The protection of the competition must be maintained.

"The decision we have taken should help maintain this."

The motion will be put to the vote at the DFL's next meeting. Those in favour of altering the rule would need a 66% majority in that vote to push through any changes.
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Re: Bayern's Identity and Bundesliga vs English Premier League

Postby MrLinky » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:40 pm

Bundesliga shows English Premier League how to take football fans into the 21st century

Saturday, 1pm and the walkway at Dusseldorf Hauptbahnhof, the city's main train station, resembles a small carnival. A drum is beating, crates of beer are being lugged from platform to platform, fancy dress costumes are on display and an assortment of flags, shirts and questionable headwear are the order of the day.

A constant wall of noise – singing, shouting and friendly banter – accompanies this ever-changing blur of colour. The scene, though, is common-place on Saturdays at a station that often acts as a crossroads for matches across Germany's Bundesliga, the best-supported domestic football competition in the world. And yes, you did read the last part of that sentence correctly.

For all the hype and often justified praise that surrounds the Premier League, it is a little-known fact that average attendances for matches in Germany's top league have surpassed their English equivalent for each of the past five seasons. [...]

Here's the whole article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/european/3473963/Bundesliga-shows-Premier-League-blueprint-for-fans.html
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