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By ESPN Staff

Hoeness fears financial meltdown in Bundesliga

Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness claims clubs throughout Germany "can only pray" that the global financial crisis leaves them unharmed.

The Bavarians are Germany's richest club and would be best placed to deal with a serious financial crisis, but he says prudence remains the order of the day.

Which is why the record German champions are unlikely to go crazy in the transfer market next summer.

"Why should we buy a player for 50million euros when he could soon be available for 10 with his club going bankrupt?" he asked.

Hoeness fears a wave of bankruptcies due to the prospect of reduced income, particularly from sponsorship and merchandising.

"I would not like to be in the shoes of some of the Bundesliga sides who are looking for a new main sponsor among small companies," he added in the Rheinische Post newspaper.

"We are already noticing that not every new shirt is being sold now. People are holding onto the old ones a bit longer.

"Thank God FC Bayern have only got long-term contracts which run until 2011, 2012 or 2013, and big multinational brands are always going to be investing in us.

"I hope we will have survived the worst in two or three years. We can only pray that the financial system holds firm."

In the meantime, Hoeness promises to do all he can to get Bayern through the looming financial uncertainty unscathed.

"It is no coincidence that we are offering a valuable player like Mark van Bommel only a one-year contract," he said.

"We have got to make sure we can get the most out of everything. At least with the contracts which are expiring we are taking a very good look at the terms."

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