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German Bundesliga

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Why Bayern Munich dominates the Bundesliga

Some commentators think that Bayern Munich are currently the strongest team in Europe.  Certainly, their recent mauling of Arsenal would point in that direction.

Premier League becoming more dominant

The competitive imbalance in Europe caused by the Premier League's latest television deal is a theme that is drawing increasing attention and the latest person to address it is the sporting director of Wolfsburg. Of course, the deal hasn't kicked in yet, but the transfer dealings of leading Premiership clubs appear to anticipate it.

A new source of funding

Retail bonds have become increasingly popular with investors as the returns from bank and building society savings accounts have become derisory.   They generally offer a return of around six per cent, but there is a higher risk, as there is no compensation if the business you are lending to goes bust.

The model is now being adopted by football clubs in the form of bonds that cannot be resold and are offered in small amounts to consumers.   The ability to repay is not always clear, but if you are a fan, and the amount involved is small, why not take the risk?

Which teams get the big sponsorship money?

There is a lot of detailed and interesting information in this report from Forbes about which clubs get the big sponsorship money and how the picture is changing.

The biggest source of revenue is shirt sponsorship (or jersey sponsorship as this report calls it).   That is followed by stadium naming rights which have become an increasingly lucrative source of revenue.  

Bayern pay off stadium debt

Further evidence of how well run Bayern Munich is as a club comes with the news that they have paid off the debt on their Allianz Arena stadium.   The debt of £346m was taken out in 2005 and was supposed to be paid off over 25 years rather than just nine.

All this has been achieved alongside success on the pitch.   However, as always, a note of caution is needed about the 'German model'.   It doesn't always translate easily elsewhere.

Bundesliga tops attendance table

The Bundesliga has the highest average attendances in football at 42,609 and is only beaten in professional sport by the NFL in America.   The Premier League comes 2nd in average attendances at 36,695, but has a higher aggregate attendance at just under 14 million.  The discrepancy is explained by the fact that it plays 74 more games.

Bayern aim to be world's richest club

Bayern Munich aim to be the world's richest club and their latest financial results show that they are well on the way there.  On a turnover of £417m they recorded a prodit of £13m.   20 per cent of their revenue came from merchandise sales.

Unlike rivals Manchester United and Real Madrid, they are free of debt.

'My league's bigger than yours'

Professor Simon Chadwick takes a look at the thorny issue of which is the biggest league in European football.   Although the conclusions are not surprising, the evidence and its appraisal are interesting.

Top 30 German Bundesliga Football Clubs by Average Attendances 2013

A list of the top thirty German Bundesliga football clubs as ordered by average home attendances (domestic league matches only) for season 2012-13.

Borussia Dortmund retained their top spot, averaging over 80,500 spectators per match. Bayern Munich retained second position, averaging 71,000, with Schalke 04 coming in third at 61,170.

The average attendance for Bundesliga 1 was 42,625 (the highest in Europe) and for Bundesliga 2 football clubs it was 17,235.

Bayern Munich tainted by association

We are always being told by David Conn and other advocates of transplanting the 'German model' into English football (and other aspects of UK life) that the Bundesliga and its clubs are in effect morally superior to those in the Premiership. They charge fans less, have more fan involvement and have managed to be both ethical and profitable.