Premier League may have too much money for England team to succeed - Seifert

The German football league's CEO has claimed the English top flight's significant wealth means young Three Lions hopefuls are rarely given enough opportunities
The English Premier League has become too rich for the England national team to succeed, German football league chief Christian Seifert has claimed.

Seifert spoke of the success of his nation's academy structure at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London, which has led to great success at both domestic and international level in comparison to other nations, with this summer's World Cup triumph the pinnacle.

And the DFL chief executive suggested that the wealth in the English club game may have hindered the progress of potential international players across the country.

"Sometimes you can have too much money, and maybe I am referring to England. Because I am not sure we would have 15 World Cup winners playing in the Bundesliga if we had the big contracts like in England," he explained.

"The English league has so much money compared to us. We have right now €2.4 billion and are the number two. But if you have that amount of money like the Premier League, and you can afford nearly every player around the world, how motivated are you then to put your cards on the young players who need maybe one or two years? So it is not an easy situation."

Seifert also insisted that the idea of relocating a round of Bundesliga fixtures - or even taking the DFL-Supercup on the road - is a non-starter, amid revised talks of a so-called '39th game' in the Premier League to be played on foreign soil.

"I would say we have a completely different approach," he stated. "I think it is a creative idea. I am not sure if it would work with Fifa, but we have a completely different approach in terms of our idea in German football.

"Personally, I have a very clear idea about German football in the next years, not only about the Bundesliga. German football has been said to have a holistic approach, and our idea is that we want to bring the game, the financials [sic] and the society all to experience the Bundesliga. We want to be successful in all of these dimensions."

Meanwhile, the Bundesliga will continue to operate for now with 18 clubs – in contrast to the 20 teams of other leading nations – with Seifert warning that, if anything, that number could be reduced in future years in light of the unpopular move by Uefa to introduce a new Nations League.

"It would make no sense, for sporting reasons, to have 20 teams. If you look at the amount of games that top players have to play in one season, then I would say it is already over-engineered. As far as I see, a lot of other major leagues would like to go back to 18 but they don't know how to handle it.

"We have 34 matchdays, we don't have a League Cup, we have a winter break, and maybe this is another argument why the German national team is in a different shape when it comes to a World Cup. Adding two teams would be a purely commercial decision.

"I'm not the biggest fan of some developments like the Nations League, which makes it harder for the coaches to say they will choose some younger players because they can win something and it is not a friendly game anymore.

"If this is the direction in the future, then I am not sure that 20 or 18 is the right number of clubs in top leagues, maybe it goes down to 18 or 16."