Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost feels footballers are being given even less freedom of speech after two high-profile Germany internationals were recently punished for speaking out against their clubs.
The former Schalke goalkeeper told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that "not even constructive criticism" is tolerated within Bundesliga clubs, who are beginning to gag their players after several examples of undesired outspokenness.
Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm was recently given a club record fine for remarks he made in a newspaper interview while Jens Lehmann of Stuttgart was also made to pay for comments he made in a live television interview.
Both players were reprimanded by their clubs and told to air their views internally, but Rost says that even that is no longer possible.
"Anybody who says something critical is regarded as an moaner or an unsettling influence," he said. "Clubs claim that you can speak your mind internally, but that is not right either.
"If I player says his opinion externally, he has to pay for it. If they say it internally, they don't always get thanked for it. Nowadays, you have got to pay attention to what you say to anybody."