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UCL cash 'hits Bundesliga competition'

The wealth generated by the Champions League is harming the competitiveness of German football, the head of the country's Football League (DFL) has told kicker.

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With Bayern Munich having already sewn up the Bundesliga title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League after losing in last year's final, Christian Seifert said he feared a rift was developing between elite clubs and the rest.

"The DFL can do nothing about it. Only UEFA can," Seifert said. "UEFA have to tax their brains about what will happen in future, because it is obvious that the current distribution has a massive influence on domestic competitions."

His comments come after Bayern president Uli Hoeness voiced fears that the Bundesliga title win had been too easy for his club and said a Bundesliga duopoly with last season's champions Dortmund was developing.

"There has been a huge dip in the competitiveness of the league, and we can't be happy with that," he told kicker. "We've got to analyse why that is the case."

Seifert said German football needed more than two successful clubs in Europe after Dortmund also made it through to the last four of the Champions League.

"We now have the rare chance to have two Bundesliga clubs in the Champions League final," he said. "The league now has a second club gaining an international reputation, but we must wish for a third and then a fourth club to follow in the footsteps of Bayern Munich."

Bayern were the last German club to win an international competition, lifting the Champions League after a penalty shootout win over Valencia in 2001, and Seifert said: "Fans, experts and media have justly criticised that. Thus every football fan can be proud we have two clubs in the Champions League semi-final.

"FC Bayern have played an absolutely outstanding season. Juventus, the league leaders in Italy, never stood a chance against them in the Champions League quarter-finals."

He said the league would be happy to hold talks amid the growing debate over competitiveness, returning to his theme that the Champions League money was making the crucial difference.

He said that even if the top clubs were to waive their domestic prize money, the others would not be able to close the gap to them because of their European prize money.


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