Bayern eclipse Barcelona thanks to blue chip backers and loyal Bavarian fan base

Financial muscle that enabled club to assemble star studded team from home and abroad reflected in Ballon D’Or nominations

Wed, Oct 30, 2013, 01:00

The likes of Götze, meanwhile, can be acquired from Bundesliga rivals who, even when they can afford to turn down the huge fees on offer as Borussia Dortmund have on a couple of occasions, still lose out due to a mix of Bayern’s allure and salary structure (Ribery is rumoured to be on €14 million a year).

On top of which, the team’s remarkable recent success combined with Guardiola’s arrival has made Munich all the more marketable to foreign stars weighing up where they might best make their best move to.

If it were all intended to instil a sense of supremacy in the players already there then there are times when the likes of Müller suggests they are succeeding and yet, for all the confidence that the team and everyone associated with it seems to exude, there is nothing like the sense of arrogance that seemed to dog the place during the tumultuous “FC Hollywood” days.

And while the success of the club itself obviously predictably inspires an ABB (Anything But Bayern) cohort there is a fair bit to admire about the German champions.

Its financial independence is, for a start, something for those rivals dependent on oligarchs or sheikhs or good old fashioned accumulated debt to marvel at and envy.

And its history is a proud one too. Bayern wasn’t born with a silver spoon in its collective sporting mouth. The club lost out to rivals several times when big decisions had to be made with TSV 1860 Munich, for instance, admitted to the Bundesliga before it. It suffered too in the early days of the Nazi regime when it was known as a club with Jewish links.

The club has shown considerable generosity to rivals at key times too, bailing out 1860 more than once and even helping to save arch modern-day rivals Dortmund barely a decade ago with an unsecured €2 million loan when last season’s beaten Champions League finalists couldn’t pay wage bills.

So Bayern are entitled to their day in the sun.

The challenge now, as Alex Ferguson might put it, is for somebody else to knock them off their perch just they have done, for the moment at least, to Barcelona.

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