Soccer

Marsch: As an American, I can’t understand how Bielefeld should have a chance against Bayern



The Bavarian giants, held to a shock draw last term by the minnows, have a vastly larger budget, and their rival coach feels the discrepancy is unfair

RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch says that Bayern Munich’s financial advantage over the majority of their Bundesliga rivals leaves few of them with a fair shot against them, highlighting minnows Arminia Bielefeld to illustrate his point.

The Bavarian giants were held to a shock 3-3 draw by the North Rhine-Westphalia outfit last season, in spite of the vast gulf in resources between the pair.

After his side was thrashed 4-1 by the reigning champions in their attempt to gain ground, Marsch now admits that he doesn’t understand how such financial disparity benefits long-term competition.

What has been said?

“I have read that Bayern Munich’s squad budget is 30 times as high as that of Arminia,” the 47-year-old told Kicker. “There is no such difference in the Premier League, La Liga, or any other league.

“I believe only the Indian Premier League in cricket has a greater disparity between the richest and the poorest clubs.

“As an American, I can’t understand how Bielefeld can have a fair chance against Bayern in the long term.”

What does Marsch’s comment suggest?

Marsch, who began his career in MLS before moving to the Bundesliga, has left a sporting hierarchy that is very different from the one occupied in Germany.

American sports such as the NFL try to balance the market through initiatives like the draft. This gives the last-placed team the first chance to select the best players for the next season.

It could be argued that the lack of promotion and relegation under this franchise model robs the European game of some of its romance, where upsets can often cause seismic waves.

Only last year, Bayern were stunned by second-division Holstein Kiel in the second round of the DFB-Pokal Cup, beaten 6-5 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

The bigger picture

Marsch will now turn his attention to continental football however, as Leipzig prepare to face another one of European football’s rich elite in the Champions League.

The Bundesliga outfit travels to Manchester City to face the Premier League titleholders, hoping to surprise the beaten finalists last season.

Marsch’s men will have to face further tests against Paris Saint-Germain and Club Brugge before they can make it to the last 16 before a ball is kicked.

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