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Leagues: Bundesliga

Bundesliga, gameweek three: Making sense of transfer money madness; By Susie Schaaf

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Though the summer or winter transfer markets have always linked player “X” from Bayern Munich to Manchester United, historically there hasn’t been a mass movement between the Bundesliga and the Premier League. Until this summer.

Thirteen Bundesliga players have crossed the pond from Germany to England this summer, with over 200 million euro poured into Bundesliga team coffers. The Premier League’s new television deal means every club in England’s top flight is positively flush with cash, and the money being offered for transfers borders on outrageous.

There are two ways to look at this:

1) THE SKY IS FALLING. Germany can’t hope to compete with the wages and transfer money being offered by Premier League clubs. And yes, this is mostly true. Bayern Munich might be an outlier here, but they still will protect their reputation as the most financially sound club in all the land. But, fact of the matter is any first division team in England can out-bid almost every other European club, save Barcelona, Real Madrid and possibly Paris Saint-Germain.

2) If incoming money was utilized responsibly by Bundesliga clubs, their healthy youth systems — the supposed envy of the English — should be able to promote and find talent from within. Or buy cheaply abroad and get talent that way.

SEE MORE: Chicharito leaves Manchester United for three-year deal at Leverkusen.

Kevin de Bruyne to Manchester City from Wolfsburg for what could amount to 80 million euro. Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim to Liverpool for 41 million. Son Heung-min moves to Tottenham from Leverkusen for 30 million. Chelsea paid 20 million to Augsburg for Abdul Rahman.

These are figures that double, sometimes nearly triple, the players’ actual valuations. It is still too soon to determine whether the English are “ruining the league” — a title passed among Bundesliga rivals — but there’s no doubt that their sort of Monopoly money will continue to turn heads.


Dortmund still rule, Moenchengladbach still fade

Borussia Dortmund go into the international break as Spitzenreiter with a 3-1 victory against Hertha Berlin while Borussia Moenchengladbach fell to Werder Bremen, 2-1, and sit bottom of the league table after three matchdays.

In the various and sundry league previews I did, I had picked the Foals (if de Bruyne were sold from Wolfsburg) to be Bayern’s biggest challengers, but it would seem I vastly underestimated the departures of Christoph Kramer (Leverkusen) and Max Kruse (Wolfsburg).

I also underestimated the brilliance of new Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel (and I can’t figure out why; I love the guy). Part of this, perhaps, is the residual reputation of former Dortmund trainer Juergen Klopp. Though I never exactly drank his particular brand of Kool-Aid, his back-to-back league titles with BVB, and ensuing hipster fandom worldwide, gave me pause.

SEE MORE: Adnan Januzaj moves to Dortmund on season-long loan.

With their rude play through the season’s initial three matches, I asked Black-and-Yellow supporters about the differences between Tuchel and Klopp. While most furiously, passionately defended Klopp when Dortmund suffered the trials of last season, they were a bit more pragmatic here and now. “Klopp was tired and had run out of ideas,” they said. “The team was tired.” Easy to say, I guess, when you’re top of the table.

Party in the nation’s capital

I had the opportunity to fly to Washington D.C. on Saturday to hang out with their Bayern Munich fan club, plus members of the Dettelbach and Baltimore clubs. Representatives from the New York Bayern office, plus mascot Berni, were on hand to greet over 150 members and supporters from all over.

A 3-0 result over Bayer Leverkusen, with Bayern fielding no natural center backs, was the icing on the cake for me as I got to enjoy the match with many people I knew through my writing, but had never met in person.

SEE MORE: Up-to-the-minute transfer deadline deals.

D.C. club vice president, Michael Morton said, “Naturally, the result of the match was perfect and meshed well with our Summerfest party; making for quite the celebration.”

It’s always a great time to get out and say hello – even with people I have vociferously argued with online. Over two hundred liters of Paulaner served that day may have had a part in lubricating any tensions.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. aaron

    September 7, 2015 at 1:32 am

    The fear is the Dutch Eredivisie league that becomes a feeder league to Europe’s big 10 teams and use their players as assets for loan/transfer deals etc.. its really a Wall Street trading model for REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts). This has crushed the Eredivisie which should have an awesome league #5 in europe with teams(at least 2 competing for champions) quarters or better. The Bundesliga needs to push to make their TV deals better, the quality is there, the competition is rock solid. But the hype is weak, the drama etc. of the EPL is what the BL needs.

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