Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness defended his club's policy of not giving players over the age of 30 more than a one-year contract extension after seeing their former winger Ze Roberto inspire Hamburg to a 1-0 victory over them.
Ze Roberto left Bayern in the summer after six years with the club since his demand for a two-year contract was declined.
Instead, Bayern would only offer him a rolling one-year deal which has now become club policy and, although the 35-year-old came back to haunt them yesterday, Hoeness said this would not change.
''If we had given him a longer deal, then we would have had to give a longer one to Mark van Bommel too,'' he told ZDF television. ''And then we would have to send our younger players like Holger Badstuber and Thomas Muller out on loan because we have too many players in our squad.''
Hoeness added that his side had been unfortunate to lose the game at the HSV Arena as their second defeat of the season saw them slip to sixth in the Bundesliga table.
''HSV won by one goal in the end, but I don't think they were any better,'' he said. ''A draw would have been correct given the way the game went. It was a great game on both sides and if it had ended all square, then both would have been happy.''
Bayern coach Louis van Gaal added that his side had failed to observe the one golden rule in football, which is why they were punished.
''Whoever scores wins,'' he said. ''We had many chances but did not score. That was the problem.''
Bayern will now turn their attentions to Wednesday's Champions League clash with Juventus at the Allianz Arena where they will look to bounce back from defeat to chalk up their second win in Europe this season after defeating Maccabi Haifa.
Hamburg are also in European action this week as they host Hapoel Tel Aviv buoyed by a win which restores their place at the top of the Bundesliga.