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Why are Bayern Munich & Borussia Dortmund not in the Super League? German football opposition explained

14:19 BST 19/04/2021
Karl Heinz Rummenigge
While the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus set to partake in the Super League, the two Bundesliga giants will not

News of plans for the new Super League have been met with widespread criticism and condemnation from football figures and fans alike, with the new tournament threatening to flip the beautiful game as we know it straight up on its axis.

Twelve of Europe's heavyweight clubs have already pledged their involvement in the Super League, though two Bundesliga clubs have notably been absent in the plans.

Goal takes a look at why Bayern and Borussia Dortmund have decided not to join the Super League.

Why aren't Bayern Munich & Borussia Dortmund in the Super League?

Both Bundesliga clubs have both confirmed their opposition to the Super League, instead encouraging the new Champions League reforms set for 2024 and voicing their continued support for the UEFA club competition.

The Super League will involve a total of 20 teams playing in a tournament to rival the Champions League, with 15 "founding members" who are immune to relegation.

The 12 confirmed founding clubs include six from the Premier League in Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Tottenham; three from La Liga in Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid; and three from Serie A in Milan, Inter and Juventus.

It is understood that Bayern and Dortmund were approached as founding clubs, but both rejected the invitation.

Bundesliga sides – including both Bayern and Dortmund – operate under the "50+1" ownership rule, which means that clubs will not be allowed to participate in the Bundesliga if commercial investors hold more than a 49 per cent stake. That means a club's members - the fans - must therefore retain a majority ownership stake.

This is difference to the other Super League clubs, who are not fan-owned.

What's been said?

“Our members and fans reject a Super League,” said Bayern president Herbert Hainer.

“As Bayern, it is our wish and our aim that European clubs live the wonderful and emotional competition that is the Champions League, and develop it together with UEFA. Bayern says no to the Super League.”

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: “On behalf of the board, I would like to make it explicitly clear that Bayern will not be taking part in the Super League. Bayern stands in solidarity with the Bundesliga. It always was and is a great pleasure for us to be able to play and represent Germany in the League.

"We all remember fondly our 2020 Champions League victory in Lisbon – you don’t forget such a joyful moment. For Bayern, the Champions League is the best club competition in the world.”

Dortmund chief executive Hans Joachim Watzke joined in on the vocal opposition, sharing Bayern's stance: "The board members of the European Club Association (ECA) came together for a virtual meeting on Sunday evening, where it was agreed that the board's decision from last Friday still stands.

"This decision dictates that all clubs wish to implement the proposed reforms to the Champions League. The ECA board members took a clear stance in rejecting plans for the establishment of a Super League.''

What other clubs have opposed the Super League?

Paris Saint-Germain, Porto and Roma have also publicly condemned the Super League.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaif has stated that the Ligue 1 side will not join the breakaway league, instead pledging his support to UEFA in hopes to "resolve the problems which the football community is currently facing".

He continued: “PSG firmly believes that football is a sport for all. I have been consistent on this point since the very start.

"We must remember that as a football club we are a family and a community, whose heart is made up by our supporters."

Meanwhile, Porto and Roma have joined in with their own strong statements, with the Portuguese side stating that they refused to join a league that would threaten the integrity of the Champions League.

Roma went a step further, issuing a statement that "some things are more important than money".

"Roma is strongly opposed to this 'closed' system, as it fundamentally flies in the face of the spirit of the game that we all love," the club wrote on the official website.

"Some things are more important than money, and we remain firmly committed to Italian football on a domestic level, and to fair, open European competitions for all. We look forward to continuing to work with Lega Serie A, the Italian Federation, ECA and UEFA to grow and develop the game of football in Italy and around the world. 

"Fans and grassroots football are at the core of our sport, and this must never be forgotten."