BERLIN, Feb 17 — Former Bayern Munich CEO and current board member Uli Hoeness warned of the growing influence of foreign money in football, while taking a swipe at Champions League last 16 opponents Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking at an event in Hanover, Hoeness said traditional clubs such as Bayern could fall behind football’s elite and urged German club ownership rules be relaxed to allow teams to attract outside investors.
PSG are owned by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), a subsidiary of the state’s sovereign wealth fund.
“You need to worry that a few clubs will be bought up in the future, from the Middle East in particular,” the former Bayern striker said.
“There is talk Qatar wants to buy Manchester United and Saudi Arabia wants to buy Liverpool.
“Then there will be no limit (on spending).
“Then it will be fun for us,” he added sarcastically.
Hoeness, known for his colourful statements in the German media which are often directed at domestic or international opponents, then hit out at PSG.
Bayern beat Qatar-backed PSG 1-0 in the first leg of the Champions League in Paris on Tuesday and Hoeness said the game showed “that money doesn’t always score goals.”
“I very much like to win against them,” said the 71-year-old Hoeness.
Hoeness again called for German football to scrap the ‘50+1’ rule, which requires members to own a majority of a club, thereby restricting outside investment.
Speaking on behalf of Bayern, Hoeness said “we would be totally in favour of scrapping the 50+1 because we are totally falling behind internationally.”
Bayern dominate the Bundesliga financially and that has translated into titles.
This season, they sit one point clear atop the table as they seek an 11th straight title.
They have six Champions League titles, including two in the past 10 years. — AFP