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Bayern chief Rummenigge attacks plans to expand Champions League

Munich (Germany) (AFP) – Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has hit out at proposals to expand the Champions League and questioned the motives behind creating new and bigger competitions at club and international level.

“We have got to the point where we have to say stop. Players and coaches need to stand up and say enough is enough,” Rummenigge said at a sports business conference in the German city of Duesseldorf on Wednesday.

His comments come amid talk of expanding the Champions League to create extra matchdays in the group stage, thereby further growing revenue for clubs.

Meanwhile, FIFA’s new 24-team Club World Cup is set to start next year, while the World Cup is set to feature 48 teams from 2026. 

Of the Champions League proposals, he said: “We must refuse that. There are not enough dates in the calendar for a competition where the two finalists will have played 21 matches in total, and with groups of eight teams there would be games with nothing to play for,” said the former Ballon d’Or winner, now aged 64.

“There is no reason to change the Champions League format, we’re trying to fix something that isn’t broken.”

He added: “The big problem in international football is that the confederations are developing more and more competitions. 

“We need to ask ourselves if that is good for football as a whole or just good for the cash register.”

Rummenigge’s club Bayern itself is in rude health, coming fourth in the latest Deloitte Football Money League with revenue of 660.1 million euros ($726m) last year.

Rummenigge is due to retire soon and will hand the Bayern reins to ex-Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn at the end of next year.

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