the matter with the 'Mannschaft'? The German national team shaking up...
and politics. Some theories suggest a coherence between common politics,
common thinking in society, media, and football. The ties between German
politics and German national team were even visible when chancelor Helmut
Kohl and Bundestrainer Berti Vogts became almost friends and started to
publically compare their jobs and problems. They temporarily were coached
by the same rethorics trainer and reacted similar in press conferences.
With the sole but important difference that Helmut Kohl is a huge and Berti
Vogts a quite small person. And that football journalists are even bigger
experts knowing everything better.
After 16 years Kohl, the country lay paralysed, incabale of any change. Any reforms were wished but then unwanted, blocked with an apokalyptic scenario painted on the wall and became mediocre mini-adjustments. Although incabable to fight unemployment Kohl got reelected 1994. And so did Berti Vogts after the miserable 1994 World Cup. Vogts kicked out some old players and transferred responsibility to players that had grown up in a climate determined from the more liberal and progressive pre-Kohl era, when many young people were brought up to reflect, critisize, and take over responsibility. This player generation managed to win the European title 1996.
But key player Matthias Sammer was hurt and his replacement Olaf Thon not sure to be fit for the World Cup 98. Berti Vogts began doubting and returned to the extremely conservative football and team structures of 1994. The responsibilities were drawn away from players like Moeller, players who were weakened by this and made scapegoats instead. This football had to fail at France as it was no complete package of abilities anymore.
Like Kohl (problems triggered by the German unity) Berti Vogts claimed some external problems (Bundesliga and Bosman) to be responsible for a misery. And like Kohl, Berti Vogts still claimed to go on. And again like Kohl he claimed, after all the failures, he now had the right plan to readjust the course of Germany (German football). But media here and there were tired to sell the same old story, and the people and fans were tired to live on dull.
Although the rest of German football association has crept and still creeps on, like nothing could require a change, Berti Vogts himself retired. Despite still being backed by the FA's ('DFB') boss Egidius Braun, the press criticism after two embarissing friendlies became so cynical, Berti Vogts, who as an honest and brave man had worked for little money, found it too much to bear on.
Only a few weeks later Helmut Kohl was blown out of his job by the 1998 election. A country seems to awake from numbing. Some hope and belief at least among a part of the people could become reinstalled, that movement might be possible again.
It might be the same in football. And Germany might be back sooner or later.
Bayern break away? The Superleague and the gap between Bayern and the rest
| Do not
worry: Bayern will not break away from Bundesliga in the next years. The
Bundesliga is still number 1 thing, matches are played on the weekend and
Bayern spectators are coming from far away. This means large crowds in
Bundesliga on Saturdays, smaller crowds in European cups on Wednesdays.
But emphasis might change as the Bayern, like media tycoon Leo Kirch or
media trust Bertelsmann, like to install digital TV by using some vehicle.
And pressure might come from outside driving Bayern into a partnership
to maintain their professonial future orientated approach to become or
remain one of the ten European top clubs.
Bundesliga clubs and association officials have threatened with exclusion from Bundesliga if Bayern (and Dortmund) join a formed closed European league excluding them. Of course the powers behind a restructuring of European football, and this is valid for the business people as for the big clubs themselves, are not stupid, so they start to offer something to everybody: A half-open structure or a completely open with some nets for the big ones. They want the foot in the door, the rest can be done later.
The development seems inevitable (readers in German can read the analysis The Shot That Passed Right Through The Net has made some years ago: Off the pitch is on the pitch the development has been predicted), so what can you do than join it.
In the actual update of The Shot That Passed Right Through the Net, there is a little more detailed essay on the Superleague topic (in the series Football 2002 - visions) <link should be here by October 10th, otherwise check The Shot That Passed Right Through The Net frontpage>.
In the following a short background summery for the German case and league structure:
1963 the Bundesliga came into being, there was no such league structure
as today. There was a handful of big clubs of quite equal meaning such
as Dortmund, Schalke, Köln (Cologne), Hamburg, Nürnberg, Hertha
BSC Berlin, Kaiserslautern. Consequently in the first 7 years, the Bundesliga
saw 7 different champions:
From Bayerns point of view the situation is comparable to the situation before Bundesliga came into being. In Regional leagues there had been similar structures. Perharps such a structure is a normal development (might be investigated on later). So the top teams see themselves in competion with other top clubs from other leagues rather than with the bottom teams of their own one. In matches against Bochum, Bayern can not win much, they can only lose.
will probably be no driving force in creating such a league, but a lot
of factors come into play now:
The development is inevitable: Yet there are restrictions in football, that now, when football has become business are not according to laws, especially cartel laws. But those will fall. And the process is irreversible, it has already moved too far. The next 20 years will change it all. It will be an exciting period of change, whether you like it or not and Bayern will probably part of it. More about it in that Football 2002-visions essay <link should be here by October 10th, otherwise check The Shot That Passed Right Through The Net frontpage>.
one more: If it will develop to a closed company (not necessarily now,
this might take a lot of years and probably will remain half-open), think
of this: great clubs have been made by the process. When the Bundesliga
was formed 1963, Bayern was not among the 16 teams. Had it been a closed
group, the Bayern we know today had never existed. Now they have the power
to blow up the whole thing.