Bayern boss Karl Heinz-Rummenige will convene an non-inclusive summit of Bundesliga clubs at the Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday. Current top tier clubs FC Augsburg, FSV Mainz 05, VfB Stuttgart, and Armenia Bielefeld did not receive an invitation.
Criticism mounts as this decision is strongly suspected to be related to a rift among Bundesliga clubs concerning a proposed new revenue-sharing model.
|Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.||Photo: Michael Lucan/CC-by-SA 3.0|
While the meeting of 14 top flight German Bundesliga clubs and one second-tier side (Hamburger SV) set to take place in Hessen midweek is not a DFL-sanctioned gathering, the deliberate exclusion of four footballing organization raised some eyebrows. The conference was the brainchild of Bayern's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
He extended an invitation to several clubs to send representatives to the summit. Topics on the agenda cannot be independently corroborated. Since the German FA isn't involved in the meeting, the clubs will presumably not be permitted to discuss matters affecting the league's future such as finding a replacement for retiring DFL President Christian Seifert, corona-related funding shortages, or a floating proposal to redistribute funds from the new television contract set to take effect in 2021.
Such a tacit assumption does not, however, mean that such subjects will not be discussed. Other larger Bundesliga clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Bayer 04 Leverkusen were instrumental in setting up the meet.
"There are currently a whole range of issues of great importance for responsible parties within the German Bundesliga," Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro told the Deutsche Press Agentur on Monday, "Dialogue is important, as is the greatest possible amount of unity. Accordingly, we at Leverkusen strove to contribute to this and promote this novel sort of meeting."
Carro's reference to the "greatest possible amount of unity" appears a couched phrase. The four clubs not invited to the join in on the conversation happen to be those who led the effort to present the new revenue-sharing model to the DFL. Carro himself has been quite vocal that the proposal must be scrapped.
SV Werder Bremen Managing Director Frank Baumann, the lone representative of the cohort of clubs who support the redistribution model, noted that the decision to exclude certain organizations did not come from his club
"If view of the issues to be discussed and in a general spirit of solidarity with the league, we would have liked to see all clubs invited and no one excluded," Baumann told German footballing magazine Kicker on Monday.
Speaking to the Frankfurter Rundschau, Mainz CFO Jan Lehmann noted that the exclusion constituted "odd behavior" and criticized the clubs for not holding an inclusive meeting.
On the Rundschau's editorial page, German football writer Jan Christian Müller accused Rummennige and others of "petty behavior" and called the move "downright pitiful".