Bayern Munich are a behemoth and behemoths are rarely attractive. They are the leading club in the largest market in Europe. Ally that to the distinct national feeling in Bavaria and you start to see why Bayern are able to bludgeon their competitors each year.
I’m torn on the Bundesliga, there are bits of it I enjoy and others I despise. We complain about clubs with wealthy patronage, but if there was ever an argument for oligarchs, the Bundesliga is it. Bayern have enough financial clout to break the Bundesliga. Some might say they have already done so. Unless a bored Sheikh decides he likes the look of Dortmund… then it is hard to see past a future of Manuel Neuer doing kick ups with the substitutes behind his goal.
Hailing from Bavaria has a significance of its own. A Bavarian might tell you that he is Bavarian first and German second. Historically there is a case for Bavaria being less similar to Germany than Scotland is to England.
For a start it is Catholic, and only became a part of the Protestant North during the Unification of Germany in 1871. Prior to this it was autonomous and if anything, closer to Vienna than Berlin.
What relevance does this have to football? Well, maybe not an awful lot, but when supporting a club is often significant in a person’s identity, it seems Bayern’s chief advantage is their almost Nation-like appeal. How better to attract fans, than a club with a National identity in its self? Bayern have no competition in enticing the Bavarian people and it businesses.
The only other Bavarian club I can think of offhand are 1860 Munich, to give you an idea of their significance: they were forced to sell their 50% stake in the Allianz Arena to Bayern for 11 million euros back in 2006.
In that sense Bayern are like Barca, but run by Germans in an economically efficient setting.
Mehr als ein Club…
Bavaria by its self is one of the biggest economies in the Eurozone, and if it were to stand alone, only 17 countries in the world would have larger economies. It is also considerably richer per person than the rest of Germany. With a GDP per capita of roughly 10,000 dollars more than the national average.
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The ethos in the Bundesliga is to respect the fans and commendable though it is, it has in part lead to this situation where a Behemoth supported by a ‘Nation’ can dominate. Weak television rights allow Germans to watch the bundesliga on terrestrial television, but because they are so minor, they have no restraint on Bayern’s commercial dominance.
I suppose you want to hear about today’s game…
Gibbs in injured, but likely to be back for the NLD. Any news on Monreal is strangely lacking, so doesn’t rule out the possibility of Vermaelen deputising. I’d rather it didn’t come to that. A centre back playing wide is an area of personal frustration.
I make the team as follows:
Sagna Mert Koz Monreal/Verm/Jenko
Rosicky Ozil Chamberlain
An early goal would be preferable, but it is more significant to stop them scoring. 0-0 at halftime wouldn’t be the end of the world. 1 goal down and they’ll start wavering – mainly as when are they ever a goal down at home? It’s admittedly a long shot. To put it into context, Betfair will only pay you £1 for every £50 you bet on Bayern qualifying.
Cheers and Gone.