Bayern's Rummenigge opposes Champions League reform and summer series
DUSSELDORF – Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich oppose a Champions League reform and a reportedly planned summer tour of the elite event with a series of matches in the United States, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Wednesday.
News reports on the weekend said that Juventus and European Club Association chief Andrea Agnelli and US billionaire Stephen Ross were looking into a "Champions League on Tour" round of matches with 16 top clubs in the US in the pre-season.
Such matches could replace the so-called "International Champions Cup" in the US and Asia in which several top clubs, including Munich, participate to raise their image and marketing activities abroad.
But Rummenigge said at a sports convention in Dusseldorf that such a new competition over two or three weeks would "make no sense" at all.
"Our coach, our players would be all over us if we participated," Rummenigge said.
Rummenigge also voiced opposition to plans of a changed Champions League with teams playing in groups of eight instead of four, for more matches. A decision could be reached by the end of the year.
"The players can hardly breath or regenerate. We have reached a point where a little less is actually a little more," Rummenigge said.
"Don't repair what's not broken. The Champions League is everything, but not broken."
However, Rummenigge was much more positive about the new Club World Cup format with 24 teams in summer from 2021 onwards, instead of with seven teams in December as it is played now.
"That makes total sense," Rummenigge said, naming the December slot "nonsense."dpa