Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has accused his club’s league rivals of conspiring to make things difficult for the current German champion, on the back of another dominant campaign.
The new Bundesliga season starts afresh on August 22, with Bayern’s World Cup winners in training for only a few weeks at this stage.
Seven Bayern players were involved in Germany’s 1-0 victory over Argentina in last Sunday’s World Cup final, with the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, and Mario Gotze - who scored the only goal in the showpiece - given three weeks of deserved holiday after their Brazilian exploits.
However, the Allianz Arena hierarchy obviously didn't feel that this pre-arranged time scale was adequate, with Rummenigge doing everything he could to ensure that the club’s players received an extra week to fully recuperate.
At a meeting of club managers, in the months leading up to the World Cup, the 58-year-old made a request to put the new season back one week, so that those involved in the finals could enjoy a longer rest before being put through their paces once training resumed.
However this suggestion was overruled, with Rummenigge adamant that the other managers saw this as their chance to hinder the Bayern’s usually electric start to Bundesliga campaigns.
Rummenigge not happy
He said: “The reason for that is that they saw it as their only chance to cause Bayern any problems. Our only real advantage is that no-one was seriously injured during the competition.”
The former West Germany striker also admitted his sadness in the lack of understanding and cooperation shown by club officials, when it came to matters for the greater good of the Bundesliga. The 2013 Champions League winners are also currently without Brazil international Dante, and Holland midfielder Arjen Robben, who missed the first half of the 2010/11 season after suffering a thigh injury during the last World Cup finals in South Africa.
Alongside Bayern, other Bundesliga giants such as Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen also have players who will be returning late to pre-season training after representing their respected nations in Brazil.
The 58 year old went on to say: “I would like to see a bit more solidarity among the clubs who sent a lot of players to the World Cup. Dortmund also sent eight or nine players.”
Whilst the rest of the squad are being put through their paces, the seven of Germany’s World Cup winning heroes are not due to start training until the first week of August, leaving them only a few weeks to prepare for the club’s opening clash with Wolfsburg on August 22.
That puts the champions at a handicap according to Rummenigge, who nevertheless believes his club have the best coach to deal with it in Pep Guardiola.
The 43-year-old encountered the same problem four years ago when eight of his former Barcelona first team players reported late to training after being given extra time to relax, having guided Spain to World Cup glory in South Africa.
He said: “He had the same experience in 2010 when he was in charge of Barcelona and many of his players came back late as world champions, but Barca still defended their league title and won the Champions League.”