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Jul 30, 2013

Holzhauser proposes German play-off

Wolfgang Holzhauser, the outgoing CEO at Bayer Leverkusen, has proposed the introduction of a play-off system to increase competition in the Bundesliga.

Wolfgang Holzhauser was left angered by Matthias Sammer's comments
Wolfgang Holzhauser says a play-off would work "in both sporting and financial terms".

The debate about Bundesliga becoming a two-horse race has been one of the major topics in German football since Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness said he feared “Spanish proportions” in early April. Some then suggested that the competition was actually looking more like a monopoly.

Only a few weeks after Hoeness' comments, Bayern, who won the league by a record 25 points last season, triggered Mario Gotze’s release clause and lured the Borussia Dortmund star away from their main rivals for €37 million.

Bayern’s sporting director, Matthias Sammer, told Welt Am Sonntag at the weekend: “Right now, I have to make it clear: I only keep my eye on one thing and that is FC Bayern.

“We want to win everything that can be won. If we continue to have the same success as last season over the next three years, we will develop a feeling of solidarity. We, of course, also have the big picture in mind. But it is a fact that FC Bayern did not defend the Bundesliga title for many years now. Before we focus on thoughts of boredom, we should create a new era.”

Holzhauser, though, believes the league as a whole is liable to suffer if Bayern become too dominant.

He told Die Welt he did not mind seeing only two clubs competing for the title but added: “Other clubs have to have the opportunity to break into the group. Anything else would be fatal. We’d soon have Spanish proportions, where nobody is interested in games between Bilbao and Zaragoza.”

He feels a play-off system could offer a solution.

“You could introduce semi-final and final games between the best four clubs,” he said. “This model would be interesting in both sporting and financial terms.”

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