Bayern Munich "brand ambassador" Paul Breitner has hit back at Borussia Dortmund chief Aki Watzke, claiming his recent comments are an attempt to "stir up hatred against Bayern."
Last week, Dortmund CEO Watzke said he believes Bayern have set out to destroy Dortmund, referring to his club losing star players like Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski to their rivals.
“They have now retaliated. They want to destroy us. Not as humans because they don't like us, but to permanently switch us off as a direct competitor by taking our players so that we no longer constitute a threat for them,” Watzke told Die Welt on Friday.
Speaking to Sky on Sunday evening, Breitner said: “Mister Watzke has forgotten that we won the Bundesliga 25 points ahead of Dortmund last season.
"Goetze and Lewandowski played for Dortmund that season. Who are we eliminating? Who are we destroying? Mister Watzke makes a huge mistake, he tries to stir up hatred against Bayern and tell the people things that are disregarding the truth.”
Breitner went on to explain that Bayern have followed the same policy for several years, and gave the example of Manuel Neuer signing from Schalke.
“Those people like Mister Watzke should understand what Bayern Munich’s transfer policy for the last 40 years has been. And that is: Not to weaken anyone, but to try and get better through our own means,” Breitner said.
In an interview with Die Welt, Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels also added his thoughts to the debate, and said that his teammates have been aware that success might cause an exodus of some of their key players.
“With all the success we’ve had, it was clear that the probability of not being able to keep every good player will increase,” Hummels said. “We are a still far away from the wage structures of other European top clubs.”
The former Bayern youth player, who was no longer wanted by Bayern and sold to Dortmund for some four million euros in 2009, added that head coach Juergen Klopp had told the players that some might leave when success came at the club.
“Everyone in this club was prepared for the consequences,” Hummels said. “Four years ago, Juergen Klopp told us players that this [player’s leaving the club] might happen.
"We, however, still want to continue this way with our club and then, someday, want to be able to maybe stop players leaving us. But that’s nothing we can achieve in one or two years. That take more like 10 years."