Luis Suarez is proof that Arsenal can’t copy Bayern Munich’s accomplishments and dominate the Premier League


It’s January, it’s the transfer season. But I don’t want to talk transfer rumours today. I want to talk about transfer tactics, which are a huge topic in Germany at the moment.

As everyone may have read, the Robert Lewandowski saga came to an end this Saturday. Nothing to be surprised about to be honest as the deal has been in place for at least half a year; if not longer. But it’s the way Bayern Munich do their business for years now which is the point of discussion Germany right now. Let’s have a closer look and see if the Munich business model is transferable to the Premier League.

Borussia Dortmund have been Bayern Munich’s main rivals over the last 3-4 years. They built a team with the likes of Mario Götze, Lewandowski, Marco Reus, Sven Bender etc. A team capable of beating anybody in Europe and winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles. Any time this happens you can count the days until Bayern Munich will tear their opponents apart. Not on the pitch but on the transfer market.

Bayern Munich have a transfer policy which has almost been the same for decades now. First, they are not afraid to offload “big names” if they think they are not good enough anymore or don’t fit into their concept. Look at players such as Roy Makkay, Mario Gomez, Stefan Effenberg, Luca Toni, Mark van Bommel and so on. Regardless if they are under contract or not they somehow make them leave (which could be a good thing regarding Mario Mandzukic, who has two years left on his contract from this summer). I always call it the influence of former world class players. Munich have Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeneß, who are not only convincing but also know the business well enough to point out what a year on the bench or in the stands could mean for ones career. It’s simple but effective.

Another point in Bayern Munich’s transfer policy is the question where to look for good players. At your opponents! Easy you say? You might be right. Bayern Munich weaken their strongest opponents simply by buying their best players. They don’t care if they need another striker or midfielder. They just do it to get better by weakening. And by sticking to the above said they manage to reface their squad every 2-3 seasons and keeping it title focused.

Reus Gotze Lewandowski

The same happened with Borussia Dortmund last summer and will happen this summer. Last summer Mario Götze was been transferred to Bayern Munich. A deal a lot of people were surprised about but which was planned long before Dortmund even knew it could actually happen. This summer the best striker for the past two seasons will head to Munich. Borussia Dortmund will suffer another huge blow. A blow of which they could hardly handle last summer. And if you asked me the raid is not over AKA Reus and Ilkay Gündogan. Dortmund will need years to get back to dominating Bayern Munich as they did in the DFB Pokal final nearly two years ago. And that’s exactly what Munich intended to do. Dortmund don’t need to be embarrassed. They are not the first it has happened to. During the strong run of Werder Bremen, VFB Stuttgart or Bayer Leverkusen in the early 2000s or Gladbach in the 80s, Munich did just the same. Michael Ballack, Ze Roberto, Lucio, Cludio Pizzaro, Basler, Misroslav Klose, Giovanne Elber, Mario Gomez, Lothar Mattäus only to name a few.

If you look at it, it’s a pretty good transfer policy. If you can’t beat them buy them. But is it applicable to modern Premier League club culture? We’ve seen it happen to us with the Robin van Persie deal two seasons back. And with the one-man show last season you see where it took Manchester United.

In general it’s not a policy I’d expect to see in the Prem in upcoming years. And there’s a simple reason for that. The Premier League has too many “big clubs” compared to the Bundesliga. The clubs are in their own way all big player. You don’t have a single player like Munich who is able to dictate. Honestly we’ve been the only club selling good players to rivals over the last years (Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, RVP). This was basically due to financial restrictions (stadium etc.). The times have changed and so have we which means there won’t be these kind of weakening deals any more.

Look at the Luis Suarez situation last summer. We wanted him. We bid a lot of money for him. But Liverpool refused to let him leave for a rival even if that would have meant they had to bench him. And in the end they were right. Suarez is their lifeline and the only reason they are ranked that high in the table at this time. The same with Chelsea. We needed (and still need) a striker. A loan deal for Demba Ba was close until we signed Mesut Özil and the so-called Special One called it off himself. He knew a striker was the missing puzzle piece. And he refused to hand it to us.

So what does that mean for Arsenal’s transfer policy? In case you want weaken your rival you have to be prepared to pay a huge amount of money. Otherwise look abroad…maybe in Germany….


Chris Mader

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12 Responses to Luis Suarez is proof that Arsenal can’t copy Bayern Munich’s accomplishments and dominate the Premier League

  1. Adrian January 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    I don’t think Suarez is comparable to Götze or Lewandowski.

    Arsenal didn’t do good business. They thought he had an releaseclause that didn’t existed. Götze had one. If Suarez had this 40+1 clause he would be our player just like Götze is now for Bayern.

    Further Suarez had an contract till 2016, Lewandowski to 14. I strongly believe Suarez wouldn’t extend his contract if he had only one year left, but he had three years. If Lewandowski had a contract till 16 BVB still wouldn’t sell to Bayern even if they paid 50 million.

    It’s easy like that. Dortmund and Arsenal didn’t made good business (Dortmund with the to 2014 running contract for Lewandowski and the Götze-clause and Arsenal with their “informationgathering” if you can call it like this).

    Yours sincerely

  2. wam January 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Dortmund were only saved from liquidation after Bayern gave them a blank cheque to stay in business 10 years ago. Since then Bayern have had seemingly first choice of any BVB player.

    • rizal January 8, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      wam, I don’t believe that bayern give BVB money, let alone a blank check. Provide a proof or link to elaborate more on it because it is utterly ridiculous, do you really know how big companies go about their business? surely it is not as what it seem in your mind.

      • Adrian January 9, 2014 at 8:06 am #

        They did give Dortmund money. About €2m. Hoeneß himself said that:

        „Als sie (die Dortmunder) mal gar nicht mehr weiter wussten und Gehälter nicht mehr zahlen konnten, haben wir ihnen ohne Sicherheiten zwei Millionen gegeben für einige Monate.“

        “When Dortmund didn’t know how to pay the wages, we gave them, without any insurances, two million for some months.”

        via Bild (

        That’s not exactly a gift, but nobody would give Dortmund this money without insurances.

        Yours sincerely

    • m Sajjad January 8, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      Do you know how many players from bvb have gone to bayern in the 50 year history of bundesliga? You can not name 5.

  3. rizal January 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    About the article, how bayern dominate is simply because they are a big coward monopoly club, the same with Man City.

    • Dave January 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

      How stupid are you? Do some research on club histroy before you type.

  4. Dave January 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    I like the idea of the article but the execution was pretty bad.

    Imagine a different epl, where clubs could only spend what they had and clubs had to remain fan owned, not some foreign oil billionaire plaything….. the landscape would be very different.

    Also wam, it wasn’t a blank cheque, it was around a million, we do not have dibs on dortmund players, don’t comment on what you don’t understand.

    Bayerns model is simple:

    First is own in house youth development.

    Secondly find the best fit for what’s needed, IF its a player in the same league, likes the country, food, weather, speaks the language then simple common sense dictates this is the best option as it significantly reduces the chance of failure (breno or 1 of the 50 odd players from brazil that barca purchased and never played)

    Thirdly, if no such player exists or not available, then go to other strong leagues, makaay, toni…etc…

    Dortmund got a fair price for gotze, they choose to keep lewa, they now have financial stability to go out and buy for anyone that leaves them.

  5. cin January 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    After all, Arsenal is looking to do good business always, not for trophy………
    I don’t think this is the good time to say this as an Arsenal fan.

    But fact is fact………..

  6. Chris Mader January 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    Thanks everyone for posting your copmments.

    The whole Bayern blank cheque thing is not the reason for BVB/Bayern transfer “relation” BVB had/have a very good business man in Joachim Watzke to save them from insolvency. Bayern had nothing to do with it. Players heading to Munich is due to the fact that besides Dortmund there is no other club to go to in Germany regarding popularity (despite Schalke maybe)

    With that in mind Bayern is not like City. They have made good business for years without the big money brought in from third parties. They have excellent deals with Audi etc. to be fair. But that’s due to their domination for years.

    @Dave reading your comment I don’t get why the execution was pretty bad? We had the same ideas.

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