Comment: Arrogant, foolish and disrespectful

“Human dignity shall be inviolable.” – With a quotation from the first article of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge began a memorable press conference in which the planet FC Bayern once again moved a little further away from the earth. Author: Justin • Translator: Dennis

With a friendly smile and a “lot of fun” Niko Kovač said goodbye to the assembled press after the usual matchday press conference – the fun factor at the meeting half an hour later, however, remained within limits.

Rummenigge, Uli Hoeneß and Hasan Salihamidžić had invited the most important media representatives to the press room on Säbener Straße for an event of which nobody knew in advance what it was supposed to be about. It became a general account, a partly grotesque presentation of the club’s view from inside and an event, which might rather harm the club.

“It’s an important day for FC Bayern because we want to tell you that we won’t put up with it anymore,” Rummenigge opened in front of the representatives of the press and set the tone for the following statements. They talked about sneering and degrading reports about FC Bayern players, about Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry and some others. Polemics without limits, said Rummenigge, who also announced that two cease-and-desist declarations would be made against Springer Verlag.

Concerning the actual content, the chairman of the board was not wrong at all: in fact a development had taken place in the last weeks, which was in parts very unobjective and which FC Bayern does not have to put up with. After four games without a win lately, a picture of a collapsing club in the crisis was created in the public image in many places, a picture that above all the yellow press drew in large letters and enriched with all kinds of rumours.

In this respect, it is understandable that the club has a problem with that – even if one should mention in passing that many internals obviously also came from the club. But to call a press conference to discuss this topic, to denounce media representatives by name and to hardly admit counter-arguments, testifies to an FC Bayern that in 2018 was far from normal.

From above, the bosses tried to explain to the journalists how they had to do their job and what they had to report. Even if Rummenigge occasionally threw in not wanting to put everyone in the same basket, he did exactly that in the end. The obligatory threat of isolation and in-house reporting could not be omitted.

It was a chaotic performance by the bosses, in which the actual and understandable demand for more respect was also lost because they themselves lacked decency, especially president Uli Hoeneß.

Hoeneß raved in a loud tone, he hit the table and he defended himself by saying that some of his populist and unobjective statements of the past weeks had happened in the heat of the moment. He said it was a mistake to call Karim Bellarabi’s foul a couple of weeks ago “insane” and corrected himself: Confronted with his statements that Ozil had played like shit in recent years, he would now prefer the term “crap”.

This is particularly remarkable because just before that defence he said: “Juan Bernat played shit in Seville. It almost cost us the Champions League. Back then, they decided to sell him during the halftime. An absurd anecdote that could hardly have been told more respectfully.

Questioning oneself, allowing oneself to be criticised from the outside and admitting one’s mistakes – all this is not one of the strengths of the Reds these days. Calling a press conference just for the reason of preaching to a few journalists about how wrong they are doing their job and at the same time showing off as an institution that sees itself above the rest is a sign of arrogance.

Arrogance, which gradually removes the planet FC Bayern from the earth, although there is no reason to do so. Arrogance that will do the club lasting harm and that will hardly change the way the tabloids report. Arrogance that is unlikely to help the coach and the players.

Even if a criticism of the excessive tabloid coverage of the past weeks and months was justified, the club bosses did not manage to get their message across – they caused a lot of resentment and escalated a situation that could have been defused.

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