Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has launched a thinly-veiled attack on Wednesday’s Champions League opponents Paris Saint-Germain by slamming the “unacceptable” nature of recent inflated transfer fees.
Qatar-owned PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world record 222 million euros ($264m) and recruited Kylian Mbappe from Monaco just before the transfer deadline last month on an initial loan deal which is set to be made into a permanent move for 180 million euros next year.
Hoeness has been a vocal opponent of such inflated transfer fees and the group games between PSG and Bayern, starting Wednesday at Paris’ Parc des Princes, will fan debate with the two clubs having opposing financial philosophies.
“I have made it clear that a player costing 100 million euros is unacceptable for Bayern”, Hoeness told German magazine Kicker.
“The time will come when all those who are currently bouncing so much money around will lower their sights, because the sporting success they imagined won’t match what they have spent.”
Bayern, who are backed by main sponsors and shareholders Adidas, Allianz and Audi, have been European champions five times in their history, last lifting the Champions League trophy in 2013.
The fact that PSG have not got past the quarter-finals of the Champions League in the last 20 years is not lost on Hoeness.
Because “only one team” can win the Champions League per year, Hoeness believes investors in Europe’s top clubs will eventually get bored.
“Those who pay out will say ‘we have invested so much money and achieved nothing like what we wanted to achieve, now we have had enough!’ and that will be our time (for Bayern),” added Hoeness.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski recently broke ranks by criticising the club’s relatively conservative transfer policy, claiming they risk getting left behind by their big-spending European rivals.
“We have been criticised for missing out on the market and preparing for our decline by refusing to buy very expensive players,” said Hoeness.
“However, we should be singing our own praises because we succeed through our own work and with our own forces.”
Last season, Bayern were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Real Madrid. They lost in the semi-finals in the previous three seasons under Pep Guardiola.
Hoeness insists Bayern still have a chance of winning the Champions League again, providing the likes of Lewandowski stay injury-free.
“If we exploit our potential and the players are healthy in the decisive phase of the season, then we have a chance and could even win the Champions League this season — that’s clear,” he added.
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